At first glance the compensation for Michael White listed in DirecTV‘s new proxy statement looks like a big pay cut. But it may simply reflect an accounting fluke: The satellite company gave him $12M in option awards in 2012 that were recorded in his tally for that year, even though they vest over three years. In any event, he ends up with a tidy $12.5M for 2013 including $1.7M salary, $4.5M in stock awards, $1.6M in option awards, $4.3M in non equity incentives, $211,247 change in pension value, and $333,193 in other compensation. That last category includes $64,491 for his personal use of the company plans as well as $20,000 to match his charitable contributions. DirecTV shares appreciated 37.7% last year. White’s package is 2.7 times the median for his four top lieutenants, which is slightly below the threshold of 3X that many corporate governance experts say suggests a CEO’s pay is out of whack. The proxy shows that 6.9% of DirecTV shares are owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the company controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett who takes a dim view of bloated executive pay. DirecTV’s annual meeting will be held in New York on April 29.
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