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The $1 club is back, and more billionaires want in.
Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL ) chief executive Larry Ellison is the latest to take just one greenback in base salary, joining Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) Jobs and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt in seeing the PR value of taking the bare minimum while living fast off their huge equity interests in their companies.
But this isn't just a Valley tale. In 2008, chief executives of 32 companies in the Russell 3000 took $1or no base salary, ABC News reports. Among the most well known on the list were DreamWorks Animation's (Nasdaq: DWA ) Jeffery Katzenberg and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners' (NYSE: KMP ) Richard Kinder.
Yet no one plays the PR maestro like Ellison. From the SEC filing:
The compensation committee recognizes that Mr. Ellison has a significant equity interest in Oracle, but believes he should still receive annual compensation because Mr. Ellison plays an active and vital role in our operations, strategy and growth. Nevertheless, during fiscal 2010, Mr. Ellison agreed to decrease his annual salary to $1 ...
Translation: "We begged him to take more money, but he said no."
Fine. Let's just make sure the net result of this (ahem) sacrifice isn't a higher rate of stock dilution in the future. Oracle has more than enough in the bank to pay you well, Larry. You needn't pick my portfolio to earn your keep.
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