Shopify CEO Collects $20 Million In Compensation Despite Job Cuts

Despite multiple rounds of layoffs over the last year, management compensation at Shopify (TSX: SHOP) appears to have been largely unaffected.

In a regulatory filing made early this morning, Shopify revealed that CEO Tobias Lutke collected just over $20.0 million in total compensation in 2022, on par with the $20.0 million he collected in 2021, and an increase over the $15.1 million he made in 2020.

While many will be quick to state that nearly all of Lutke’s compensation was in the form of option-based awards – he only collected $1.00 in formal salary for both 2021 as well as 2022 – it should be noted that significant gains have been made on these option based awards.

Lutke saw his options issued in four separate tranches, with exercise prices ranging from $18.04 to $128.03 per share. Based on Thursday’s closing price of $78.67, Lutke has seen unrealized gains of approximately C$23.2 million on those options, implying that despite “lowering his salary” to just a dollar, he’s made significantly more as a result of his options awards than he would have if he collected a regular paycheck.

Chief financial officer Jeff Hoffmeister meanwhile collected $8.2 million in compensation, despite being in the role for just the final two months of the year, while outgoing CFO Amy Shapero collect $10.8 million, a portion of which was related to severance.

The only exec to see a decline in compensation was Kasra Nejatian, who’s compensation fell from $23.8 million to $16.9 million in 2022, a result of fewer option based awards being granted. Outgoing COO Toby Shannan meanwhile claimed the top spot in terms of compensation, at $20.5 million.

The eye-popping compensation for executives follows the firm in July of last year laying off 10% of its workforce, which was expected to impact roughly 1,000 employees, which came just months after Lutke secured 40% of voting control over Shopify under a structure that allows him to sell stock while still maintaining his ownership percentage.

And the layoffs have yet to stop. The company just weeks ago revealed it would cutting a further 20% of its global workforce while cutting its fulfillment network.

“There’s no way to make this good news, but we designed a package that will attempt to make it the best possible version of a bad day,” Luke said of the announcement.

Shopify last traded at $79.59 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Shopify CEO Collects $20 Million In Compensation Despite Job Cuts

  • July 15, 2023 8:36 PM at 8:36 pm

    Jay: Doesn’t the proxy circular say Lutke was issued stock options worth $20 million for 2022 but this was an unrealized amount because the stock price traded below the strike price in 2022.


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