Palantir Technologies Inc. and DoorDash Inc. gave their longtime chief executives special stock awards worth hundreds of millions of dollars in 2020, two of the biggest compensation packages ever awarded to corporate leaders.
Alexander Karp, the chief executive officer and a co-founder of Palantir, a data-analysis company that went public in September, received compensation valued at $1.1 billion last year, including $798 million in options and $296 million in restricted stock, according the company’s annual proxy statement.
Shortly before DoorDash went public in December, the meal-delivery company awarded co-founder and CEO Tony Xu restricted shares that were initially valued at more than $400 million, according to securities filings.
Both awards far exceed the pay packages received by CEOs of S&P 500 companies in 2020. The median pay for S&P 500 CEOs in 2020 was $13.4 million, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, and the biggest compensation package was valued at about $211 million.
Neither Palantir nor DoorDash is in the S&P 500 index. Both companies are unprofitable. In their filings, the companies describe the awards as tools to keep their CEOs on the job and motivated to increase the company’s value over a number of years.