Last year, a big block of shareholders in Bellevue-based Concur Technologies did not concur with how it paid executives.
Nearly 40 percent of votes in the March 2012 say-on-pay ballot went against the company — even though the board had already slashed CEO Steven Singh’s $500,000 base salary to $1 the previous month and deemed him ineligible for a cash bonus.
Concur, which sells travel- and expense-management services, reacted to the investor uprising by deciding to hold all executive salaries flat in 2013.
The board also adopted a policy to align the CEO’s targeted total pay with the median pay of CEOs in a peer group. In the past, the board had pegged the CEO’s pay to the 90th percentile of a peer group.
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And the board decided to link stock awards to “economic value added,” as measured in revenue and new customer contracts.
After the say-on-pay vote, Concur also embraced compensation practices favored by large proxy advisers, including:
• Caps on payouts to executives for meeting targets
• No automatic cash payments for severance or a change in control of the company
• Not paying “dividend equivalents,” or credits for dividends on unvested equity awards
• No special perks, including paying taxes on compensation.
In a letter to shareholders this year, Singh described the past year as “a tremendous success.”
Revenue grew 26 percent, pretax earnings per share was $1.39 and “new customer bookings were the highest in our history,” he wrote.
That, and Concur’s changes to its pay practices, still weren’t good enough for some stockholders: This past January, 18 percent of votes cast were against the executives’ pay.
Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter @sbhatt