The shareholders of Just Eat Takeaway.com (Just Eat) have formally approved the monster acquisition of Grubhub that would deliver the company a U.S. foothold.
The shareholder vote approved much of the $6.9 billion proposal. Grubhub’s founder and CEO Matt Maloney will be named to the board along two Grubhub insiders. In addition, the sale price was accepted and the first half of 2021 timeframe is still the anticipated closing date. According to a tally of 110 million shareholder votes, most everything was approved with more than 80 percent approval. The approval of David Fisher, the U.S. CEO of Enova—a lending company—a non-executive director at Grubhub, passed with 73 percent approval. The final item, Maloney’s renumeration policy, was not approved.
The supplemental item would have given Maloney a $745,000 base salary with long-term incentives and stock options of up to 1,000 percent of that amount. That would have given him a wide range of incentivized pay of up to $7.45 million. According to Reuters, bonuses in the Netherlands are capped at 100 percent of base pay and have been since the Great Recession.
A spokesperson told Reuters that the board would discuss the vote with Maloney, but declined to elaborate further. Representatives for Grubhub also declined Food On Demand’s request for comment on the overall approval.
According to SEC documents, Maloney received an all-in salary of $7.8 million in 2019, a dip from $9.3 million in 2018. The salary included $710,000 base pay with stock options and bonuses accounting for the rest.
His salary puts him about 9,000 percent ahead of the median employee’s salary of $85,000 and 27,000 percent ahead of the average driver, as self-reported in Glassdoor. That’s not atypical in the U.S., as former Waitr CEO Chris Meaux’s 2018 salary of $3.8 million was almost exactly 27,000 percent higher than delivery driver salary of $14,000.
In context of the global business community, it’s a pretty shocking mismatch. Former Just Eat CEO Peter Plumb earned up to $3 million all in with base and bonus pay in 2018, which is 9,000 percent more than the average, self-reported delivery driver salary of $31,000.
The overall deal didn’t hinge on Maloney’s pay package, so it’s still moving forward, but it’s definitely a consolidation curveball for top U.S. executives looking at deals in the future. Global consolidation may just prove to be a substantial pay cut.