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17 May 2022, Edition - 2499, Tuesday

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Xiaomi chief Lei Jun bags Rs 6,478 crore bonus; promises to give it all to charity



The Xiaomi Group, which had recently announced net profit of 8.6 billion yuan (around Rs 8,826 crore) in its 2018 annual financial report, has reportedly given its founder and CEO Lei Jun bonuses worth over Rs 6,478 crore. however, the 11th richest man on Forbes’ China Rich List has pledged it all to charity.

“As set out in the annual report of the Company, one individual obtained emoluments falling within the band of HK$150,000,001 to HK$15,000,000,000 for the year ended December 31, 2018. This individual is Lei Jun, our Director, and the emoluments primarily represent the one-off issue of 636,596,190 Class B ordinary shares of the Company on April 2, 2018 to an entity controlled by Lei Jun,” Xiaomi disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, adding that this was to “reward” him for his contributions and “to the knowledge of the Company”, the founder has “promised to donate all the Relevant Shares after deducting any tax payable for charitable purposes”.

The massive bonus has raised eyebrows on account of Xiaomi’s disappointing IPO in Hong Kong last July. Though the share prices have started to rally from the lows of January, they are still over 31% below the listing price currently at HK$11.58 (Rs 101.77) apiece.

According to The Guardian, Jun was also awarded a much smaller package of share options in Xiaomi Finance, the Group’s financial services arm, worth around Rs 105.54 crore. So the combined payouts given to the CEO add up to a whopping Rs 6,583 crore, which is believed to be among the largest ever made to a company executive.

Last November, Brit billionaire Denise Coates, the co-founder and joint chief executive of gambling firm Bet365, paid herself an eye-popping salary of 265 million pound (around Rs 2,392 crore at the time), including a 45 million pound dividend. To put that in perspective, Coates’ salary was more than three times greater than what Tim Cook earned for running Apple, the most valuable company in the world, and 25 times more than what BP boss Bob Dudley took home, the daily reported.

But that’s nothing compared to what Tesla’s founder and CEO Elon Musk may earn in 10 years’ time. Last month, the shareholders of the electric car company approved a compensation package potentially worth $2.6 billion (around Rs 17,928 crore) for Musk provided he is able to lift Tesla’s market value to $650 billion over the next decade, 11 times its current levels. According to Reuters, he could end up with as much as Rs 3.84 lakh crore ($55.8 billion) in Tesla stock and more than a quarter of the electric car company if he hits all targets of the new plan.

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