“Discovery Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav saw his compensation more than quadruple to $156.1 million last year after agreeing to renew his contract for six years,” according to BloombergBusiness.
The story continues, “The total includes $94.6 million of performance-based restricted stock that will vest over time if Discovery achieves certain goals. Part of the grant was tied to the signing of Zaslav’s employment agreement in January 2014, according to a SEC filing Friday, April 3, 2015. Zaslav also received $3 million in salary, $50.5 million in stock appreciation rights that will vest over four years and a $6.08 million cash bonus.”
Writes David Lieberman at Deadline.com, Zaslav also received “$1.9 million in other compensation. The “other” category includes $296,930 for personal use of the company aircraft, $50,324 for tax gross-ups, a $16,800 car allowance, $16,619 for personal security, and $3,614 for home office expenses.”
Mike Farrell writes at Multichannel News, “Although critics may pan the sheer size of Zaslav’s award, the Discovery CEO has brought tremendous value to the company. Discovery’s market capitalization has quadrupled since 2007 from $5 billion to $20 billion, according to the proxy statement. At the same time, the home of Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and others, has grown its global portfolio of networks from reaching 280 million cumulative worldwide subscribers in 2008 to 2.6 billion. At the same time, despite a decline of about 27% in its stock price in 2014, Discovery shares have risen nearly five-fold since 2007 from $7.19 per share to $32.15 each on April 2.
“Discovery’s revenue has nearly doubled from $3.4 billion in 2008 to $6.3 billion in 2014 and cash flow has nearly tripled from $1.3 billion to $3.4 billion in the same period. Zaslav’s employment deal, which expires on Dec. 31, 2019, puts the CEO on a path to ownership of the company, according to the proxy.”