The unconventional CEO of $33.3 billion Snowflake — which just listed the largest software IPO in history — is already paid more than the heads of Oracle, Microsoft, and Salesforce. It shows the power of how startup exec compensation can be structured.

Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman

Summary List Placement

Tech unicorn Snowflake offers data warehousing in the cloud, and in just eight years it has taken on the likes of Oracle, Amazon, and Google. On Wednesday, it went public, breaking records as the largest ever US software IPO, at $33.3 billion, beating the previous record holder Uber which went public at a $8.1 billion valuation.

Leading the company through the IPO is CEO Frank Slootman, who made more than $60 million in total compensation in 2019, according to an S-1 filed by the company.

Slootman, who has proven himself leading tech companies like Data Domain and ServiceNow through IPOs, stands out in Silicon Valley for his views on investor activism and social justice. 

Analyzing unicorn executive comp

We broke out the compensation for CEOs from Microsoft, Alphabet, Oracle, and Amazon and compared it with compensation for Slootman and Snowflake’s former CEO Bob Muglia, who stepped down in mid-2019. 

Because of the mid-2019 change, both Slootman and Muglia’s reported salaries were only a portion of what they would have earned if they’d worked a full year — Slootman’s full-year salary was $375,000 and Muglia’s was $300,000, according to their amended S-1 filing. 

But even with half a year’s salary, the additional forms of compensation that Slootman received vaulted his overall earnings ahead of other tech execs.

Let’s unpack salary versus other forms of compensation. 

On salaries, awards, and full compensation

The full-year salary is sometimes referred to as a salary rate. The compensation data provided by companies in their annual proxy statements filed with the SEC includes the amount earned, rather than the actual salary rate. This difference explains the discrepancy between Slootman and Muglia’s earned salary and their salary rate.

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Even with these adjusted full-year salaries, both Slootman and Muglia earned a lower salary than CEOs from all firms below with the exception of Jeff Bezos, who was paid about $82,000 in reported 2019 salary. However, to be clear, the total compensation reported for Slootman was more than that reported for Jeff Bezos and both CEOs from Oracle. 

All about equity

More than salary, the equity awards that Snowflake’s current and former CEOs were awarded made all the difference. Equity awards essentially grant employees shares of ownership in the company. The shares will gain and lose value as the firm’s stock price changes. 

Because of these awards, Slootman’s total compensation is higher than his counterparts from Microsoft, Oracle,, and in terms of total 2019 compensation (as reported in the Summary Compensation Table in the latter companies’ latest proxy statements). Former Snowflake CEO Muglia’s total compensation was higher than Oracle co-CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, and CEO Jeff Bezos’ total compensation.

The chart below shows compensation elements split out for the CEOs of Snowflake, Microsoft, Alphabet, Oracle, and You can use the dropdown at the top of the graphic to select from salary, non-equity incentive plan compensation, stock awards, option awards, other compensation, and total compensation. 


SEE ALSO: Snowflake salaries revealed: From $69,000 to $215,000 a year, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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