Investors attack Oracle over pay
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A big UK pension fund is among a number of investors preparing to protest against the pay polices of the California-based software company Oracle - whose chief executive Larry Ellison received $76m last year - at its shareholder meeting today.
Railpen has joined forces with other high-profile fund managers, CalSTRS of the US and PGGM of the Netherlands, to urge fellow shareholders to vote against all the directors standing for election to the board and in the vote on pay policies.
Deborah Gilshan, corporate governance counsel at Railpen, said it was very unusual for the pension fund to join in such an effort. "This is a reflection of the serious of our governance concerns," she said.
Advisory groups such as ISS are also recommending a vote against the pay policies and the re-election of some directors.
Oracle, which declined to comment last night, had failed to win the backing of its shareholders for its pay policies last year.
"By our calculations, 86% of independent shareholders voted against the resolution," the three pension funds wrote in their joint letter to shareholders.
Ellison, who founded Oracle, owns 25% of the shares.
"This is not a situation any board should ignore . . . as it is clearly a request for change by shareholders," the three funds said. "Subsequent to the vote from last year, we would have expected the board to have addressed issues such as excessive compensation." In its invitation to shareholders, Oracle said "significant changes to our executive compensation programme were not warranted".
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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