Netflix, who has seen some rocky patches in the last long while, just reported that CEO Reed Hastings got a 68% raise in stock options last year, regardless of the fact that the company lost 62.5% of its value last year. Hastings brought in $8.8 million in stock potions, on top of his regular salary, for a total of $9.3 million.
Still, Netflix did exceed Wall Street’s expectations by about $20 million for the 2011 fiscal year, posting earnings of $875.5 million – though it might have been a bit early for substantial raises. Considering the whole Qwikster snafu, along with a massive decline in subscribers, the company is still refocusing – and some of the things they have been doing are are notable – like teaming up with the Weinstein Company to change up their content a bit, as well as reportedly hosting the premiere of the new season of Arrested Development in a back-to-back marathon.
Though, a 68% raise so soon? In the proxy that Netflix filed Friday with the SEC, the company’s compensation committee “took into account the Company’s performance during 2011 and reduced the Chief Executive Officer’s total compensation by $1.5 million.” But that same year, Hastings stock was at $8.8 million, up 76%. And the rest of Netflix executive salaries were up 27.6%, even though Hastings’ pay made up 40% of all of the top 5 execs together. Shareholders typically become skpetical when a CEO makes 3 times more than the other executives of a company, and Hastings is presently at 2.7 times the average.
With the Netflix annual shareholders meeting taking place on June 1st, Hastings will likely be met with some questions regarding his salary bump while Netflix continues to progress.