Marijuana firm Tilray’s executive pay gets cool reception from shareholders

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Shareholders approved Tilray’s executive compensation scheme in a nonbinding vote at the marijuana company’s annual general meeting Tuesday, but the results fell short of an overwhelming endorsement.

In the say-on-pay vote, which is only advisory, roughly 63% of shareholders approved the compensation of CEO Irwin Simon, Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton and the New York-based cannabis company’s next-top-paid executives.

Of the 55,954,488 votes cast on the resolution at the company’s virtual meeting, 35,224,384 voted for the motion to approve the compensation, while 20,730,104 voted against.

There were nearly 2 million abstentions.

The 63% support is much lower than normal.

So far this year, average support for say-on-pay votes at S&P 500 companies has been 88%, according to the business publication Corporate Secretary.

For the five months through May 31, Tilray’s CEO compensation was 17.4 million Canadian dollars ($13.7 million), which was paid in cash.

That included a $352,400 cash payment to Simon, which the company attributed to a “rounding issue” in his favor.

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Three other executives earned total compensation of $1.2 million on average for the five-month period.

“Rounding issues” also resulted in cash payments to Merton, Denise Faltischek, Tilray’s head of international, and James Meiers, the company’s head of Canada.

At the annual meeting, shareholders also elected directors to the company’s board.

Brendan Kennedy, Tilray’s CEO before it merged with Aphria, received relatively low support, with roughly 77% of shareholders voting in favor of his directorship.

The remaining eight director nominees were approved with between 90% and 94% of the votes cast.

Those directors were:

  • John M. Herhalt: 94.2%
  • Walter Robb: 92.4%
  • Irwin Simon: 94%
  • Renah Persofsky: 91.9%
  • David Clanachan: 92.4%
  • Jodi Butts: 90.2%
  • David Hopkinson: 92.8%
  • Thomas Looney: 94.2%

The appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as Tilray’s independent registered accounting firm was approved by 98% of the votes cast.

Shares of Tilray trade on the Nasdaq as TLRY.

Matt Lamers can be reached at