Shareholders complain about Oracle governance and exec pay — again

Another year, another complaint from shareholders unhappy about governance and executive pay at Oracle. Sunday, two European pension funds wrote a letter to the Silicon Valley company’s board, demanding a meeting.

Dutch fund group PGGM and Britain’s Railways Pension Trustee Co., a.k.a. Railpen, have waged a failed four-year campaign to make changes at Oracle. The two groups — which among other things want to be able to nominate candidates to the board — own slightly more than 7 million Oracle shares, according to Bloomberg. The company has 4.4 billion shares outstanding, with Chairman Larry Ellison owning 25 percent.

“The way we’ve been rebuffed is unprecedented,” Catherine Jackson, a senior adviser for responsible investments at PGGM, told Bloomberg. “We have never gone through four years of having legitimate governance concerns and writing to companies and not having the opportunity to address the concerns directly to the board.”

It’s a familiar refrain. Shareholders such as CtW Investment Group have also complained that Oracle “has stubbornly refused to take shareholder criticisms to heart,” our Steve Johnson wrote in 2013.

Reuters points out that last year, Railpen and other pension groups put a measure on the Oracle shareholder ballot that would have allowed investors to nominate board candidates, but the measure lost.

What about pay? Ellison routinely tops lists of handsomely paid tech executives. But Steve Johnson wrote last summer that Oracle reduced stock-option grants to Ellison and other company execs, perhaps in response to consistent shareholder grumbling.


Photo of Larry Ellison by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images archives


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  • Robert Derman

    One wonders why these investor groups don’t simply dump all their shares of Oracle and instead invest in companies that they are satisfied with the governance of.


    Oracle should be accosted for hiring Chris Markopoulos (Greek), a flat out loser from Massachusetts, he can’t even manage a rental property in Worcester Massachusetts where he was RECENTLY found in several violations of City of Worcester Inspectional Services Ordinances, has given the Authorities a big run a round refusing to abide by the law… he actually ASSAULTED a 74 year old Christian woman over these issues.
    Yes hiring Chriss Markopoulas for hundreds of thousands of dollars is out right cheating the SHAREHOLDERS from the gate. And yes he has A CRIMINAL past, and yes his rich daddy forced him through a high dollar school (Worcester Poly Tech) and that is how Oracle got stuck with this thief, liar, and master manipulator. Don’t trust Chris Markopoulos for any reason!!