Canoo Inc. CEO Tony Aquila saw his total compensation rise 25% to $44.6 million from $35.6 million in 2021, according to a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
Canoo (Nasdaq: GOEV) is the electric vehicle maker moving its headquarters and a low-volume production plant to Bentonville.
The company’s proxy filing follows reports of widening losses in the first quarter of 2022, and that there is "substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern.” The unrestricted cash and cash equivalents Canoo had on hand at the end of that quarter were not enough to cover expected expenses this quarter, but it had more than $600 million in capital lined up.
The company told Arkansas Business by email Wednesday that it also had a commitment for a $50 million private investment in public equity [PIPE], had entered into a $250 million equity purchase agreement with financing partner Yorkville Advisors, and had filed a $300 million universal shelf "which will give us flexibility to access the public markets to raise appropriate amounts of capital to satisfy what we need."
Canoo’s other named executives — President Josette Sheeran and Chief Technology Officer Peter Savagian — were not named executives in 2020, so the proxy doesn’t include previous compensation for comparison.
Most of the increase in Aquila’s compensation took the form of stock awards, but his 2021 base salary also rose significantly to $500,000 from $145,380.
As for the stock awards, the proxy notes that the $43.9 million figure listed for 2021 “does not reflect the actual economic value that may be realized by the named executive officer, which will depend on factors including the continued service of the named executive officer and the future value of our stock.” The value of Aquila’s stock awards for 2020 was nearly $35 million.
He also received an $189,292 reimbursement of temporary housing expenses for him while he was based in Los Angeles.
Sheeran’s total compensation was $10.7 million, including a $226,008 salary, stock awards valued at $10.2 million and $234,904 in other compensation. Her other compensation included the $150,000 she received for consulting on site selection for Canoo’s manufacturing operations prior to her appointment as president on July 26; $64,904 in fees earned for serving as a non-executive director on the company’s board; and $20,000 that covered tax and legal services incurred in connection with her appointment to the board.
Savagian’s 2021 compensation totaled $2.9 million, including his $452,657 salary and stock awards valued at nearly $2.5 million.
Canoo’s stockholders will vote during an annual meeting set for 8:30 a.m. on July 12 at the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Hotel & Golf Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on re-electing four directors and continuing to do business with auditors Deloitte & Touche LLP.