As Uber Technologies Inc. continues to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, its CEO saw his total compensation rise 63% year over year in 2021 — though it was still down 53% from his total in 2019, before the pandemic.
Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi took home $19.9 million in 2021, compared with $12.2 million the previous year and $42.4 million the year before that, the company said in its proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. His compensation last year included his $1 million base salary, more than $16 million worth of stock awards, $2.4 million of what the company called “non-incentive equity plan compensation” instead of a bonus, and more than $507,000 in all other compensation. That other compensation included more than $400,000 for the CEO’s security and personal safety costs.
According to the filing, Khosrowshahi’s pay was higher in 2021 because in 2020 he waived his salary from May to December due to the pandemic; saw an increase in his equity grants; and implemented some three-year goals associated with his performance-based restricted stock units.
Besides contributing to the company’s goals of reaching positive Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in 2021 and growing revenue, the company said in its filing that the CEO’s achievements included making “regulatory progress” in the form of continuing to “advance Uber’s vision of IC+,” which is what the company is calling the independent contractor-plus model that it wants to expand to everywhere it operates.
As Uber continues to face pressure on its business model, IC+, which involves providing some benefits to its drivers and couriers, allows it to continue to avoid classifying them as employees. Khosrowshahi and other executives also got credit for the company’s implementation of Proposition 22 in California (which was deemed unenforceable by a court decision that the company is appealing), implementing IC+ in Greece and the classification of drivers in the U.K. as “workers,” which has similarities to the IC+ model.
The CEO-to-employee pay ratio, which the company disclosed as required by law, was 244 to 1. The annual median pay for Uber’s 22,400 employees worldwide was $81, 825.
For the other Uber executives listed in the proxy, their 2021 compensation totals were:
Nelson Chai, chief financial officer: $6.8 million, down from $11.6 million in 2020
Jill Hazelbaker, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs: $7.9 million, down from $12.6 million in 2020
Tony West, chief legal officer: $7.4 million, down from $12.3 million in 2020
Nikki Krishnamurthy, chief people officer: $10.7 million, up from $5.2 million in 2020
The company’s annual general meeting is scheduled for May 9.