Palantir CEO Karp earned $1.1 billion in 2020, tied to fairness awards

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Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir, arrives ahead of a Tech For Good meeting at the Hotel Marigny in Paris on May 15, 2019 to discuss good behavior for tech giants.

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir, received approximately $ 1.1 billion in compensation in 2020, primarily through stock awards granted shortly before his software company went public.

In a power of attorney filed on Thursday, Palantir said the majority of Karp’s pay was tied to options valued at $ 797.9 million, with an additional $ 296.4 million earmarked for stock awards. The oversized package is the result of a stock incentive plan agreed last year that offers Karp 141 million options that will vest from August 2021. Every quarter, 2.5 percent of the equity becomes vested.

Karp’s salary for 2020 rose from $ 12 million a year ago. In addition to the stock bonuses, he earned a salary of $ 1.1 million and other compensation, including tax advice, personal safety, and use of chartered aircraft, totaled $ 3.1 million.

Karp, 53, co-founded Palantir in 2003, along with Peter Thiel and others, to provide data analytics tools and services to the intelligence community. The company expanded and offered little insight into its business until it went public in September via a direct listing valued at over $ 15 billion. After debuting at $ 9.50 per share, the stock rose above $ 35 in January before falling over the next several months. It closed at $ 23.37 on Thursday.

While Palantir was based in Palo Alto, California for most of his life, Karp made a point in the prospectus ripping Silicon Valley for producing companies that sell our “thoughts and inclinations, behaviors and surfing habits.” Around the same time, the company announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Palo Alto to Colorado, a state that is slashing income taxes.

At the time of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Karp owned Palantir shares valued at approximately $ 1 billion. Since then, it has sold approximately $ 350 million at stock prices between $ 9.10 and $ 31.59, according to SEC filings.

Stephen Cohen, Palantir’s president, saw his compensation increase from $ 16 million in 2019 to $ 192 million last year as a result of the stock awards granted in August. Chief Operating Officer Shyam Sankar received total compensation of $ 102 million in 2020, up from $ 26 million the previous year.

For all three top executives, the earn-out will come over time. The options for Cohen and Sankar will roll over at 5% per quarter starting August. Palantir said the values ​​assigned to the awards for 2020 are based on the rules of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

“These amounts do not necessarily represent actual recognized value or what can be recognized by senior executives,” the filing states.

A Palantir representative declined to comment.

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