GENERAL

Arvind ‘kerching’ Krishna, CEO of IBM, paid more than $16 million in 2022

The financial package that IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna received in 2022 was a healthy $16.58 million, or the median salary of 271 of his employees.

According to the 2023 Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement, a lower volume of longer-term stock awards resulted in a decrease in Krishna’s total compensation of just under $1 million from the previous year.

The annual incentive plan increased by more than $500,000 to $3.48 million, while the base salary remained the same at $1.5 million, with stock awards totaling $8.93 million and option awards totaling $2.03 million.

The first significant increase in IBM’s revenue in more than a decade was led by Krishna, who is estimated to be worth at least $40.5 million: up 11% in 2021 to $60.5 billion. IBM claims that the goals set for its Software and Consulting divisions were met on the way, and recurring revenue accounted for half of the company’s turnover.

Other notable accomplishments attributed to the CEO and his executive officers include IBM’s completion of eight $2 billion acquisitions in 2022; implemented the 433-Qubit Osprey quantum system; formulated a strategy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 65% by 2025; and emphasized leadership diversity.

Operating cash flow, operating earnings per share, and free cash flow were all linked to exec compensation metrics. According to the SEC filing, objectives were met.

IBM executives were criticized in the past for focusing on so-called Strategic Imperatives rather than revenue growth as an annual goal. This changed in 2021, when IBM announced that it would spin off a significant portion of its Global Infrastructure Services division, which had been a driving force behind revenue growth.

Krishna’s compensation was comparable to the median annual salary of 271 IBM employees: The CEO receives $16,580,075 in annual total compensation, while the median employee receives $61,242. The median employee’s base salary was $45,197. In October 2021, this pay rate was determined.

The same ratio applies to HPE CEO Antonio Neri, who received $17.36 million in the company’s fiscal year 2022.

CFO James Kavanagh received $10.13 million, vice chairman Gary Cohn received $8.95 million, and senior veep Tom Rosamillia received $7.66 million in compensation.

In contrast to last year, when former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst received $22.4 million in stock options alone, IBM did not observe any shareholder unrest. Close to half of investors didn’t uphold the remuneration proposition. In any case, Whitehurst didn’t take the money; he decided to leave in July 2021, so the annual long-term incentive wasn’t given to him.

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