Oracle shareholders have rejected the company's pay practices for a second successive year, after founder Larry Ellison topped the league of America's best paid executives with a $78 million package in the most recent financial year.
A motion to approve executive pay at the annual meeting was defeated after 57% of shareholders voted against or abstained in a non-binding poll. Because Ellison owns more than 24% of the shares, an estimated 85% of the independent stockholders are thought to have joined the pay revolt.
Immediately after the meeting, shareholder activist group Change to Win called for the resignation of Bruce Chizen, who has chaired Oracle's compensation committee since 2011.
"Given the extent of investor opposition, Chizen must make room for fresh, independent thinking that can restore investor confidence in the board's linking of pay with corporate performance and strategy," said Dieter Waizenegger, director of the group's investment arm. "Further foot dragging risks a real governance crisis."
The UK's Railway Pension Investments joined Dutch fund PGGM and the California State Teachers' Retirement System in voting against the board after sending an open letter earlier this month raising "severe concerns about executive compensation and proper board accountability at Oracle".
Last year, Oracle's pay policy was voted down by a majority 59%. The remuneration vote, known in America as "say on pay", is non-binding but few companies risk the wrath of shareholders two years running.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
Original headline: Oracle pay deal again rejected by shareholders
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