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Three top Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) executives earned more than $10 million each in 2013 between salary, stock options, and bonuses, though that is still down from 2012, reports James O’Toole for CNN.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg earned $16.1 million last year, down from $26.2 million in 2012; CFO David Ebersman earned $10.5 million, down from $17.5 million; and Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer earned $12.6 million in 2013, down from $20.7 million the year before. CEO Mark Zuckerberg took home a $1 salary with no bonus, taking his cue from former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs, focusing on increasing the value of his stake in the company he founded instead of worrying about his compensation package.
Lower compensation doesn’t reflect performance
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s ad revenue increased 72% in 2013 and despite having a flat 1H13, its stock price grew rapidly during 2H13 after the company was able to convince investors that it was handling the transition from PCs to mobile computing. Even after a recent selloff, the stock is up more than 140% over the last year. If it seems strange that top executives would see their pay fall as the company’s prospects soar, looking at the income mix clarifies things. For all three execs, base salary and bonuses have increased for the last two years. It’s the stock awards that have fallen off over time.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) offers low base salaries compared to other firms with similar revenues (none of the executives had a base salary above $400,000) and relies on equity grants both to recruit and retain talented executives. But those grants are somewhat front-loaded, so the drop in total compensation has nothing to do with the execs’ performance, it’s just a side effect of the contracts that brought them on board.
Facebook stock dipped, analysts bullish
After briefly pushing past $72 earlier this month, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has seen its stock price drop towards $60 as investors cool on tech stocks including Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). While the sector has some high valuations, and companies like Twitter don’t even have profits to back them up, there wasn’t a clear catalyst for the selloff. If Facebook continues to execute on its drive to increase ad revenue, mobile ads especially, there’s no reason that investors won’t return to the company.
Analysts are certainly still bullish on the company, with price targets rising into the $80 and $90s in recent weeks, suggesting that the recent fall in price could be a good entry point for investors who think Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will have another strong year.