SAN FRANCISCO – A majority of shareholders opposed Oracle's executive compensation, including Chief Executive Larry Ellison's pay, in a non-binding vote on Thursday following complaints that the world's third-richest man is paid too much as his company struggles against smaller rivals.
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The vote against Ellison adds to a similar defeat at last year's meeting, and while it requires no action from the company, it underscores concern among shareholders about high executive compensation in the face of lackluster financial performance.
Challenges to the 69-year old Ellison's pay package come as the world's No. 2 software maker, which he co-founded four decades ago, tries to fend off smaller, aggressive companies offering software and Internet-based products at prices that often undercut Oracle. Ellison owns about 25 percent of Oracle.
A majority of shareholders voted in support of Oracle's directors, including those on the board's compensation committee - Bruce Chizen, George Conrades and Naomi Seligman. That vote was also non-binding.
In an initial tally, more than 1 billion votes were cast in favor of Oracle's executive compensation and more than 2 billion were against.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Kenneth Barry)