SushiSwap Community Votes To Cut Salary Of Next ‘Head Chef’ to 500k USDC

The SushiSwap community has voted to compensate future candidates for its vacant position of head chef – akin to CEO in a traditional company – with a base salary of 500,000 USDC, down from a previous proposed package of $800,000 worth of stablecoins.

The community expressed support for the future SushiSwap head chef to receive a base salary of 500,000 USDC, six months severance package, and 1M SUSHI (about $1.2M) in bonuses spread out across various performance and token price-based targets, in a governance poll that closed on Aug. 26.

The proposal is now expected to move to a formal token-based snapshot vote in the coming weeks.

Exorbitant Compensation

The vote follows a recent community poll on whether to elect a new head chef in Jonathan Howard, the founder of NFT studio Big Head Club. But members pushed back against what they believed was an exorbitant compensation package that was being offered to the candidate. 

Howard sought to address the community’s concerns, proposing a revised and reduced package including a base salary of 700,000 USDC per year, and 350,000 SUSHI tokens earmarked for performance bonuses. 

The package also included 1.2M SUSHI as additional bonuses should the price of SUSHI tag $5, $7, $9, $11, or $13 on Howard’s watch, with the extra bonuses staggered across the price targets. This would have resulted in a more than $10M payout for the head chef if all targets were met, including more than a third of all SUSHI tokens allocated to staff salaries over the next four years. 

Separate Polls

Despite the poll closing in favor of Howard’s election by a narrow margin, sources familiar with the matter told The Defiant that SushiSwap would again poll its community on the candidate and their compensation separately to appease concerns. SushiSwap now appears to be in the process of finding prospective candidates in addition to Howard. 

Neil Bhasin, a member of SushiSwap’s compensation committee, told The Defiant that conducting separate votes separating the candidate from the compensation package is the correct course of action despite creating “additional logistical overhead.”

“I believe it’s the right move in the sense of listening and doing all that we can to have every voice heard, big tokenholders to small [tokenholders],” he said.

“Trusted” Accounts

SushiSwap is currently the fifth-largest decentralized exchange with a total value locked of $704M, according to DeFi Llama. Its native SUSHI token also represents a market cap of $226.5M, but its price is just $1.17 after crashing more than 87% since the year began, according to CoinGecko. By contrast, UNI, the token of Sushi’s principal rival, Uniswap, has fallen 60% over the same period.

On Aug. 17, Tangle, a SushiSwap community lead, created a series of polls addressing the annual salary, bonus structure, initial contract length, and severance package for the position of head chef. Each poll was also divided into two separate votes, one that is open to all Sushi forum-goers, and a second poll restricted to users with a trust score of at least one.

The separate vote excluding new accounts with a trust score of zero seeks to address concerns from the community that fresh accounts may have been used to sway the previous vote in favor of Howard’s election. The Defiant saw data showing that 64% of votes cast by accounts with a trust score of at least one were opposed to Howard’s election per the terms of the previous proposal, despite it closing with 53% of votes in favor from the broader community.

Cleaner View

In the latest poll, the only criteria that produced mixed results between all voters and those with a trust score of at least one was the head chef’s contract length, with the broader community supporting a 12-month contract compared to users with a trust score of at least one preferring 24 months.

Nickjrishwain threw his support behind the revised poll on the governance forum, posting “it feels like we’re thinking about things more reasonably and I like the idea of splitting these proposals and getting a cleaner view of the items we’re voting on,” he said.