Lucid Group awarded Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson around 13.8 million time-based units of stock last year. It was to last for four years starting from 2021, additionally 16 million performance-based stock units. The complete award was evaluated by the company to be around $556 million, as mentioned in a filing on April 28. In 2021, the $263 million pay given to Rawlinson is one of the largest compensation packages paid to any executive.
The performance-based part was based on the short-lived surge in Lucid Group’s share price last year. Shares of the electric automaker have since plunged by more than two-thirds as the company attempts to ramp production of its Air electric luxury sedan but is facing supply chain issues. In all, his vested performance stock is worth $263 million at Thursday’s closing price. The CEO can still collect on 2.1 million more performance-based units if Lucid’s value rises to more than $70.5 billion and remains there for six months. If he stays at the company for the next four years, he stands to gain even more.
The condition of why Rawlinson hasn’t yet received all of the shares he stands to is, in part, because the company announced in February that it would be slashing production in 2022. Rawlinson said at the time that the company would build around 13,000 vehicles this year, instead of the 20,000 units it originally intended to and share prices have fallen as much as 67 percent since hitting their peak.
Compared to their November high of $57.75, Lucid shares dropped almost 70 percent on Friday, closing at $18.08. The massive decrease is attributed by analysts to concerns about supply-chain struggles and a lowered production goal for 2022. Lucid Group recently said it needed more cash to fund its plans, which include a second factory in Saudi Arabia, expected to open in 2025. The company raised $2 billion in convertible debt in December, but Bloomberg Intelligence forecasts that the startup may have to sell more stock to raise the necessary funds. The CEO’s pay is surprising given the size of the company. When investors claimed that Stellantis’ CEO Carlos Tavares made more than $70 million in 2021, French union officials called the figure, also made up of stock options, “indecent and revolting.”
The early payout to Rawlinson reminds me of the package awarded to Tesla’s Elon Musk in 2018, which has paid out almost $78 billion. There’s a big difference between the two cases, however, besides the amount of money involved. Musk’s payday wasn’t due to brief fluctuations in Tesla’s stock price, but rather a steady, rapid rise.