His compensation package came to $56.8 million, down just 0.7%, according to the company proxy just filed at the SEC. That makes him the highest paid media CEO among the companies that have thus far reported for 2015. He beat Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman who made $54.2 million with contract renewal perks.
Moonves’ package includes $3.5 million in salary, $19.0 million bonus, $25.5 million in stock awards, $7.2 million in option awards, $421,021 change in pension value, and $1.2 million in other compensation. The “other” category includes $513,218 for security and $371,351 for transportation.
The total doesn’t include $6 million in stock that the Compensation Committee elected to give him this year.
CBS’ net income fell 52.2% to $1.4 billion in 2015 while revenues, at $13.9 billion, rose 0.6%. Much of the drop in net income was due to the July 2014 split off of the company’s outdoor and billboard ad business. If you just look at continuing operations and take out one-time expenses, the bottom line declined 2.7% to $1.6 billion.
But the board credited Moonves and his team for “confronting an accelerated shift in technology and viewer habits.” As a result, CBS “entered the 2016 fiscal year better positioned for long-term success in the evolving media landscape.”
Sumner Redstone took a big cut in the year, which ended before he stepped down as Chairman to become Chairman Emeritus. His package came to $1.8 million, down from $10.8 million in 2014.
The board says the appointment as Chairman Emeritus “is appropriate, in view of his many years of leadership as Executive Chairman of the Board” as well as his status as “a renowned leader in the entertainment industry.”
Moonves replaced him as Chairman. Corporate governance watchdogs oppose having the CEO also lead the board, which is supposed to provide a check on the chief executive’s power. But the board says that the decision “provides continuity” and is justified “given his successes in his role as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.”
Reporters reading the proxy may eat their hearts out when they see the first-time disclosure of the compensation of Chief Communications Officer Gil Schwartz, who also frequently writes business and humor books and articles under the pen name Stanley Bing. He made $3.8 million in 2015. Schwartz has a deal with CBS-owned Simon & Schuster. The company says that the terms “are no more or less favorable to the Company than it could have obtained from unrelated parties.”
CBS will hold its annual meeting on May 26 in New York.
The Compensation Committee is chaired by Bank of America Chairman Emeritus Charles Gifford. It also includes former Defense Secretary William Cohen, former Verizon exec and NAACP CEO Bruce Gordon, and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.