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: Netflix shareholders reject executive pay packages in symbolic vote

In a largely symbolic vote, Netflix Inc. shareholders on Thursday rejected lucrative compensation packages for the streaming company’s top executives.

Netflix’s NFLX, +2.00% board had unanimously recommended the pay packages, and can overrule the vote the next time it meets.

The Writers Guild of America, whose members are striking over issues that include pay, had urged shareholders to deny the pay plans.

“While investors have long taken issue with Netflix’s executive pay, the compensation structure is more egregious against the backdrop of the strike,” WGA West President Meredith Stiehm wrote in a letter earlier this week. “Shareholders should send a message to Netflix that if the company could afford to spend $166 million on executive compensation last year, it can afford to pay the estimated $68 million per year that writers are asking for in contract improvements and put an end to the disruptive strike.”

Under the proposal, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos would receive about $40 million in total compensation in 2023, including base salary, stock options and bonuses; co-CEO Greg Peters would get $34.6 million; and former CEO and current executive chairman Reed Hastings would get around $3 million.

Stiehm wrote a similar letter to Comcast Corp. CMCSA, -0.79% shareholders, who will vote on executive compensation next week.

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