Amazon Shareholders Pass CEO’s $214 Million Payout

  • Amazon shareholders agreed to Andy Jassy’s $214 million package but rejected all 15 investor-led proposals.
  • The record number of 15 proposals is a sign that investors want Amazon to do more for society.
  • However, the board urged shareholders to veto all, and shareholders heeded the call.

Amazon shareholders have agreed to CEO Andy Jassy’s $214 million package but rejected all 15 investor-led proposals that demanded the company do more to address issues such as workplace safety. Shareholders voted on the non-binding proposals at the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The meeting was Jassy’s first time attending as Amazon’s CEO. When he took over the role from founder Jeff Bezos in July, Jassy was offered a $214 million compensation package.

The bulk of Jassy’s pay package is made up of 61,000 shares, worth about $212 million, that vest over 10 years. His salary accounts for $175,000 of his package, according to a proxy statement Amazon filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April.

“The way the SEC rules work we are required to report that grant as total compensation for 2021, when in reality it will vest over the next 10 years,” an Amazon spokesperson previously told Insider.

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, several advisory firms urged shareholders to veto Jassy’s pay package. “The value of the new CEO’s $214 million award is excessive in the context of an internal promotion,” advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) told clients earlier this month. ISS gives suggestions to shareholders of various companies on how they should vote.

Investors are increasingly asking tech companies to do more for the environment and society, and shareholder meetings are a way for them to propose changes they would like to see. However, companies are pushing back against those concerns.

On June 1, Google’s parent Alphabet is expected to ask shareholders to vote against all 17 proposals that touch on racial equity, environmental sustainability, and data privacy concerns, the company’s proxy statement shows.

Amazon’s board had urged shareholders to reject all 15 proposals — a record for Amazon, per Reuters — in the lead-up to Wednesday’s meeting. The proposals touched on issues including workplace safety, Amazon’s commitment to the environment, and racial and gender pay gaps, the proxy statement shows.

Amazon’s shareholders tend to vote with what the board recommends, per the Financial Times. Bezos is the company’s largest individual shareholder with 12.7% of the overall vote, the proxy statement shows.

Even though Wednesday’s votes were non-binding, the amount of backing they received could prompt Amazon to consider adopting them, per Reuters. Amazon is expected to release an overall tally of the votes in the coming days.

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