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Battery startup QuantumScape’s Indian CEO Jagdeep Singh gets Elon Musk-like ‘staggering’ pay package

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The CEO of a US battery startup, QuantumScape, has won a multibillion-dollar pay package. One proxy adviser has even called the package that Jagdeep Singh got “staggering” in size.

QuantumScape Corp. stockholders are set to vote on a multibillion-dollar pay plan for the company’s chief executive. QuantumScape is a solid-state battery firm that went public in 2020 via a blank-check sale.

“QuantumScape’s Indian-origin CEO Jagdeep Singh could obtain stock options worth up to $2.3 billion under the arrangement if the company reaches specific objectives,” proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis says. The package will be one of the main items discussed during QuantumScape’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

Glass Lewis, which encouraged stockholders to reject the deal, noted in a recent report that the grant’s disclosed cash value cost is astonishing. Another consulting group, Institutional Shareholder Services, also does not support it.

Large pay packages are becoming more prevalent among fast-growing firms, especially after Tesla Inc’s success released a flood of cash in the electric vehicle sector.

Such deals are similar to the one that helped Tesla CEO Elon Musk become the world’s richest person. Last year, at least 15 corporate leaders got accolades worth $100 million or more. That’s a threefold rise from the award that Musk received in 2018.

In a statement to shareholders justifying the package, QuantumScape stated, “We strongly believe in setting demanding, difficult-to-achieve goals and then focused efforts to make them happen This is why we predicated this new award on stretch objectives and provided our senior executives the chance to partake in the upside in a proportional to the difficulty of attaining them.”

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