Oracle paid CEO Larry Ellison a cool $96 million last year

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Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle Corp. and one of the wealthiest people in the world, saw his pay jump to $96.2 million last year.

The pay, disclosed in a corporate filing, was up 24 percent from the previous year's total of $77.6 million. Most of Ellison's pay came from stock options that were valued at $90.7 million when they were granted in June 2011.

Those options, to buy 7 million shares at $32.43 a share, have value only if the stock is trading above that price. The options have been under water for most of the time since they were granted. But on Friday, Oracle stock rose 21 cents to close at $32.47.

The company cut Ellison's performance-based bonus to $3.9 million, down from $13.3 million a year earlier. Other senior executives endured similar cuts. That was because Oracle's profit growth for the year came in below its goals, according to the yearly filing it made Friday.

Oracle's net income rose 17 percent to $9.98 billion for the year that ended May 31. Revenue rose 4 percent to $37.12 billion.

The company said compensation was $51.7 million for both Safra A. Catz, its president and chief financial officer, and Mark Hurd, its president. Nearly all their pay was also in stock options that had little value as of Friday.

Oracle said its compensation committee recognizes that Ellison, 68, already "has a significant equity interest in Oracle, but believes he should still be eligible for an annual compensation package because of his active and vital role in our operations, strategy and growth."

Ellison's salary was only $1 for the year that ended May 31, 2012, unchanged from the previous year.

Forbes this week estimated Ellison's net worth at $41 billion. That ranked him as the sixth-richest person in the world and the third-richest in the United States, behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Associated Press' calculation isolates the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package in the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted.

The calculation doesn't include changes in the present value of pension benefits. And they sometimes differ from the totals that companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The statements to the SEC reflect accounting charges taken for the executive's compensation in the previous fiscal year.

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