Hyatt Execs That Stopped Paying Workers Awarded Selves Stock Options, Now Poised For Bigger Payday
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Days after the hotel industry begged the Trump White House for a $250 billion bailout to weather the health crisis, top hotel chain Hyatt announced it was furloughing thousands of its workers and made a big show of how its executives were making their own sacrifices of cutting back their massive salaries by half. Now, a week later, those same executives are poised to pocket “tens of millions of dollars”, which “could exceed the amount of the pay cuts they are taking over the next two months,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
This move — which comes just before a government bailout that includes executive pay restrictions — is clearly an attempt to circumvent rules on how taxpayer money can be used. The stimulus bill specifically limits CEO pay above $3 million dollars, but with this stock package, Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian could make “$10 million if the share price regains half its declines” since the beginning of the year.
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, issued the following in response:
“After furloughing thousands of employees, making sure executives can still pocket eight figures speaks volumes about Hyatt’s priorities. This is another glaring example of why Congress must demand more transparency and further restrictions on which companies get access to tax dollars, and how that money is spent.”
KEY POINTS FROM WSJ:
When Hyatt Hotels Corp. decided to furlough many of its hotel workers, it told employees that Chief Executive Mark Hoplamazian and Chairman Thomas Pritzker would forgo salaries and nine other senior leaders would take a 50% pay cut through May.
The executives also received their annually awarded restricted shares and stock options about a week after that March 17 announcement. If Hyatt’s share price bounces back near levels it was before the coronavirus pandemic caused the stock to plunge, those 11 executives stand to gain tens of millions of dollars through those awards, according to an analysis of the company’s March 26 securities filings.
This additional compensation could exceed the amount of the pay cuts they are taking over the next two months.
Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s President And CEO Received $12,460,429 In Total Compensation In 2018, The Last Year For Which Data Is Available.
In 2018, Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s President And Chief Executive Officer Mark S. Hoplamazian Received $12,460,429 In Total Compensation. [Hyatt Hotels Corporation Schedule 14A, Securities and Exchange Commission, 05/15/19]
Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s Chairman Received $5,079,995 In Total Compensation In 2018, The Last Year For Which Data Is Available.
In 2018, Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s Executive Chairman Of The Board Thomas J. Pritzker Received $5,079,995 In Total Compensation. [Hyatt Hotels Corporation Schedule 14A, Securities and Exchange Commission, 05/15/19]
In 2019, Hyatt Hotel Corporation Held $421 Million In Stock Buybacks And Paid Out $80 Million In Shareholder Dividends.
Hyatt Hotel Corporation Repurchased $421 Million In Shares In 2019. “We repurchased 5,621,281 shares of Class A and Class B common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $421 million.” [Hyatt Hotels Corporation Form 10-K, Securities and Exchange Commission, 2019]
Hyatt Hotel Corporation Paid $80 Million In Shareholders Dividends In 2019. “We paid four quarterly $0.19 per share cash dividends on Class A and Class B common stock totaling $80 million.” [Hyatt Hotels Corporation Form 10-K, Securities and Exchange Commission, 2019]
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