Salesforce chief freezes pay following investors’ complaints

By Staff Writer

Apr 13, 2016 06:36 AM EDT

The 2016 base pay for Marc Benioff, chief executive officer of Salesforce, will be similar to that of 2015, following investors' complaints regarding his huge pay package in 2015. Benioff's net compensation including bonuses and stock awards amounted to $33.36 million in fiscal 2016, a 16% decline from $39.9 million in the previous year.

The US-based computing company decided to link the CEO's pay structure to its performance, this means the executive will not receive some incentive benefits if the company's stock value fails to reach a specific target level. BUSINESS INSIDER cited a proxy statement, which said that Benioff's base pay will remain flat at $1.55 million in 2016.

The compensation adjustment comes after an annual shareholder summit in 2015 when investors filed their feedback about executive salary as well as corporate management strategies. The computing firm said, "We believe that these actions advanced our compensation practices and governance in a manner responsive to the input we received from our stockholders and in a manner appropriate for our Company."

Salesforce's short interest rose by 27.5%. The company's short interest increased to 14 million shares in April from 10.98 million shares recorded earlier. The stock of Salesforce was down $0.63 or 0.84% in the previous trading session and reached $74.22, according to SMALLCAPWIRED.

The company's revenue remains to grow at a steady rate of 25% while at the same time exceeding Wall Street expectations. The company's GAAP revenue is anticipated to cross over $8 billion in 2016. Salesforce continues to invest in sales and marketing unit, spending half of its revenue amount.

The Vista Voice reported that Benioff sold 12,500 shares of the company at a median value of $74.85 for a net price of $935,625 on April 5th. Meanwhile, Sei Investments boosted its shareholdings in the company by 58.1% during the fourth quarter. Currently, the investor poses 965,968 shares valued at $75.7 million. In addition, Swiss National Bank lifted its position by 1.8% after purchasing 20,000 additional stocks in the company. Currently, Swiss National Bank poses 1,131,372 shares valued at $88.7 million.

LMR purchased new shareholdings in the company valued at about $1.3 million. Oppenheimer & Co boosted its holdings by 77.6% and currently owns 30,028 shares valued at $2.4 million after acquiring 13,122 additional shares. Rothschild Capital Partners boosted its holdings by 204.4% in Salesforce and presently poses 136,465 shares valued at $10.7 million following a purchase of 91,635 more shares.

William Blair echoed a "buy" grade on Salesforce's shares in a research paper released on December 30th. But, Vetr reduced the company's stock to a "hold" grade from a "buy" rating and fixed an objective price of $77.47 for Salesforce. The company is racing with its rivals to maintain its position in the computing sector. Salesforce's executive pay decision highlights its adjustment plans to improve its financial condition.

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