In an incredibly challenging year for American electric vehicle (EV) maker Lucid Motors (NASDAQ: LCID), the company finds itself dealing with disappointing quarterly deliveries and a falling share price, drawing heavy criticism from investors and analysts. .
However, what has left many particularly amazed is the staggering pay package awarded to Lucid’s CEO, even amid growing concerns about production and profitability.
Notably, Lucid reported just $608 million in revenue for fiscal 2022, of which $379 million was paid to the company’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson. In other words, Lucid’s CEO earned more than half of the company’s total annual revenue last year.
This figure made Rawlinson by far the highest-paid executive in the auto industry, and more than the combined salary of the CEOs of the world’s largest companies, including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), real estate investor Graham Stephan highlighted on October 7.
Why did Rawlinson earn such a large compensation package?
In detail, Rawlinson’s $379 million package included a base salary of $575,000, $5.5 million in stock options and a staggering $373 million in stock awards, according to a compensation survey by executive directors made by Automotive and Equilar News.
Furthermore, it appears that this small fortune was awarded to Rawnlinson after he successfully met Lucid’s market capitalization goals in early 2022, according to SEC filings. Like the vast majority of larger publicly traded U.S. companies, Lucid also uses performance-based compensation for at least a portion of its executive compensation.
“One of the reasons we see pay-for-performance models favored is that they are generally viewed more favorably by shareholders, to the extent that achieving financial performance is linked to creating shareholder value,” Noah said. Kaplan, managing director of management consulting firm FW Cook.
– he said in an interview with Fortune at the beginning of this year.
Reports about Rawnlinson’s pay package drew criticism from many in the electric vehicle industry, including Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) boss Elon Musk.
In fact, it appears that Musk doesn’t believe Rawlinson’s extravagant compensation is related to performance at all.
“Beware of any company where leadership compensation is not tied to performance.”
– the CEO of the largest electric vehicle manufacturer saying in X last month.
While that may or may not be true, one could argue that there is an argument behind Musk’s comments. By the end of the day, Lucid shares had plunged more than 82% in 2022 and the automaker had total revenue of just $608 million.
For comparison, the second-highest-paid auto executive, GM CEO Mary Barra, earned $34 million in 2022, while Ford CEO Jim Farley pocketed $18.3 million for the year past.