Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Just Got a Raise

Salesforce.com just filed a disclosure with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showing that CEO Marc Benioff has just gotten a raise in his base salary for the company’s 2014 fiscal year. His new salary is $1.2 million a year, up from $1 million, and includes a target cash bonus of as much as $1.8 million.

As is usually the case with these things, it’s not about the base salary, but the stock options. Salesforce’s board gave Benioff a grant to buy 375,000 Salesforce shares at a price of $156.37 a share, which was Salesforce’s closing price on the grant date of Nov. 27. The shares vest over four years.

The option is granted on the assumption that the share price will rise, which it has been doing. Salesforce shares are up more than 55 percent this year. In 2011, Benioff’s last options grant was for 350,000 shares at a price of $108.25. That grant has since increased in value by more than $17 million.

Of course, that’s in addition to the 10 million shares Benioff already owns beneficially as of Nov. 27, according to the filing, worth nearly $1.6 billion.

The filing also says that Benioff is planning to sell off 412,500 shares in a three-day spree beginning on Dec. 26. No one knows what Salesforce’s share price will be that day, but at today’s price those sales would bring in more than $65 million.

The filing also discloses raises for several other Salesforce execs. CFO Graham Smith saw his base pay increase to $600,000 per year from $480,000, and executive VP of technology Parker Harris’s base pay is going to $625,000 from $450,000. They also received share grants: Harris got options to buy 60,200 shares plus 5,300 shares of restricted stock. Smith got options to buy 52,700 shares and 4,600 shares of restricted stock.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work