The proxy filed at the SEC this afternoon says that the CEO’s contract emphasizes long-term performance over year-to-year metrics. Still, Jeff Bewkes shouldn’t complain about his compensation for a year when Time Warner shares appreciated nearly 30%. His package includes $2M salary, $6.9M in stock awards, $3M in option awards, $13.6M in non-equity incentives, $219,560 change in pension value, and $167,943 in other compensation. Most of the “other” pay is for his personal use of the company aircraft. Time Warner says that “for security reasons” Bewkes was given a car and driver and “was encouraged to use Company aircraft for business and personal use.” Bewkes’ pay was 4.5 times higher than the median for his four closest colleagues, just a tad better than last year’s 4.6 times but still well over the line (3 times) that makes corporate governance watchdogs fear that a CEO wields too much power. The board says that Bewkes’ accomplishments include his efforts to promote “Content Everywhere,” his implementation of the company plan, and his success in communicating Time Warner’s “progress in executing its strategy and creating stockholder value to external constituencies.” Shareholders will have a chance to register their opinions about executive compensation at the company’s annual meeting on May 23 in Atlanta. Time Warner holds the federally mandated say-on-pay vote every year.
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