At Apple, Steve Jobs looks like an even better bargain: He hauled in 35% less than Ellison did (at almost $750 million, most of it in restricted stock), but Apple stock rose more than 11-fold, three times as much as Oracle's.
Let the comp-police target, say, , who took in $450 million while investors lost close to 70% of their stock value. Never mind that some 95% of his pay came from 1990s stock options that paid off earlier in the decade. And Dell himself, bless him, hasn’t received a bonus in four years and hasn’t received stock or new options in six years .
So get off Michael Dell’s back, okay?
And spare us the potshots that inevitably will be aimed at Oracle’s Ellison, Apple’s Jobs, IAC’s Barry Diller and host of other heroes of capitalism. It’s one thing to decry any plush pay for the likes of meltdown mavens Angelo Mozilo of Countrywideand Richard Fuld of now-defunct Lehman Brothers. They wrecked the economy and laid waste to their shareholders.
But the tech guys didn’t present a systemic risk, they didn’t contribute to the meltdown. They just made products that propelled business, excited consumers and often fueled higher stock prices. What are the chances the Pay Police see any distinction here? For them, all high pay is suspect—except their own.
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