Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, has registered a new quarterly delivery of its remuneration in shares to the main executives of the company, including Javier Oliván. The de facto ‘number two’ of the multinational is the beneficiary of one of the most generous share remuneration plans since he was appointed chief operating officer (COO), a position from which he reports directly to the founder, main shareholder and executive president, Mark Zuckerberg.
According to the records of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Oliván has once again received a new package of company shares valued at about 4.2 million dollars at the delivery reference prices. Specifically, the one from Sabiñánigo received 23,625 common shares of Meta Platforms this weekend after the conversion to $179 each of part of the RSU (restricted securities) that he has assigned and receives periodically from his variable remuneration plan.
The statement to the SEC details that the Aragonese manager has received those 23,625 shares although he has had to sell 9,967 titles worth 1.8 million dollars to pay taxes. The process is automatic by Meta Platforms and does not imply the intervention of the beneficiary when buying or selling. They are not open market operations either, but are carried out bilaterally between the company and the employee.
Following this operation, the Spanish director increases his portfolio to more than 100,000 Meta Platforms shares, 80% of them directly and 20% through the family companies Olivan D LLC and Olivan Reinhold. They are valued at about $18 million at Meta stock market prices. Additionally, the manager has assigned another 65,643 RSUs (restricted shares) that are released quarterly.
It is also the first delivery of shares that he has received since he moved his habitual residence to Spain to work remotely, as ‘La Información’ announced two weeks ago. It is something very common within the company, with other front-line managers teleworking on a regular basis.
Since January 1, Oliván has had a contract with the subsidiary Facebook Spain with a fixed salary close to one million dollars without counting, for example, the remuneration in shares. The Spaniard maintains charge and executive functions within Meta Platforms despite teleworking, something he has done since he joined Facebook in 2007 as head of the internationalization strategy of the social network.
What are restricted shares or RSUs?
RSUs are a variable remuneration instrument in shares that does not exist in Spain but is very common in the US. It is halfway between the ‘ghost shares’, the options and the usual share delivery plans on the Spanish stock market. The main difference is that it allows publicly traded companies greater flexibility when it comes to managing the cost of these compensation plans, since their impact on the balance sheet can be deferred in addition to choosing to deliver the shares or a payment in effective.
Oliván has received three share deliveries since he was named COO, in August, November and now in February. The amount of each one of them has varied drastically due to the strong fluctuations of MetaPlatforms on the stock market. For example, just three months ago the conversion price of the shares was set at $114 and now at $179.
The price of the Facebook parent company has doubled from the lows it marked, precisely, at the end of 2022 after the worst period on the stock market since it went public more than a decade ago. Meta came to lose nearly 800,000 million dollars in market capitalization from its all-time high in September 2021 and its low a year later.
In addition, investors fear the increase in losses associated with the development of their activity in the metaverse. Reality Labs, the technology subsidiary that includes virtual reality devices and software, shot up its losses by 34% in 2022, to 13,717 million. Finally, like other social networks such as Snapchat or Twitter, Meta has seen how the rise of competition from China’s TikTok is taking part of the advertising revenue pie and the time of use of its users.
The world’s largest social networking company with billions of registered users who use Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook on a daily basis has begun to straighten its course on the stock market despite the fall in its business. In 2022, it earned the first year-on-year drop in its revenue (-1.1%, to 116,609 million dollars), while its net profit plummeted 41%, to 23,200 million. To compensate shareholders, Meta announced a $40 billion treasury stock reward plan, 60% more than in 2022.