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Former eBay CEO Walks Away with $57 Million Package

Former eBay CEO Devin Wenig walked away with a $57 million package last year, according to a company filing with the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). Of that, $780,769 was salary and $40 million was classified as “other compensation.”

Wenig left the company abruptly on September 24 under ambiguous circumstances. At the time, eBay Chairman of the Board Thomas Tierney cited “a number of considerations,” and Wenig said in a Tweet he was “not on the same page” as the Board. (Tierney himself will be stepping down from the eBay Board in June where he’s served as Director since 2003 and Chairman since 2015.)

Whatever the circumstances of Wenig’s departure, the May 20, 2020, filing shows the eBay Board considered his exit as “termination without cause” when evaluating the terms of his 2014 letter agreement with the company, sometimes referred to as Golden Parachute provisions. The terms are spelled out in the filing:

“The Letter Agreement payments include: (i) two times his annual base salary which equals $2,000,000; (ii) two times his annual target bonus amount which equals $4,000,000; (iii) a prorated portion of the bonus under the eBay Incentive Plan (“eIP”) that Mr. Wenig otherwise would have earned and been paid (using his accrued eligible compensation under the eIP through the last day of employment) for the 2019 fiscal year under the eIP which equals $1,819,192 (which is reflected in the “Non-Equity Plan Compensation” column of the Summary Compensation Table); (iv) the amount of $5,849,674, which is the dollar value of outstanding and unvested RSU awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement; (v) the amount of $27,357,280, which is the dollar value of outstanding and unvested PBRSU Awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement; and (vi) the amount of $545,288, which is the dollar value of dividend equivalents associated with the equity awards that were treated as vested under the Letter Agreement.”

The report broke out the following expenses that were part of Wenig’s compensation in 2019:

– In-home security expenses: $4,260

– Secured chauffeured transportation: $26,303 

– Personal airplane usage: $230,904 

The same filing shows eBay’s CEO Pay ratio, which we report each year. The median annual total compensation for eBay employees in 2019 was $130,636. The board chose to exclude Wenig’s compensation and chose not to annualize the higher compensation Schenkel received during his role as Interim CEO. Instead it used Schenkel’s actual total compensation for the year of $17,647,255 – including his nearly 9 months as Chief Financial Officer.

The ratio of the Schenkel’s annual total compensation to the median employee’s annual total compensation is 135 to 1. For 2018, the eBay CEO Pay Ratio had been 152.

Given the information provided in the report, we calculated that Devin Wenig received in compensation 438 times the median employee’s annual total compensation in 2019.

It’s also interesting to note that the median annual total compensation for eBay employees was 9.26% higher in 2019 – $130,636, compared to $119,562 in 2018.

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