It’s not a slap on his performance — far from it in a year when Discovery shares appreciated 38%. But this year David Zaslav’s package didn’t include stock awards that accounted for $25.3M of his compensation in 2012. The 2013 tally includes $3M salary, $22.5M in option awards, $5.8M in non-equity incentives, and $2M in other compensation. That last category includes a $1.5M contribution to his retirement account, $165,018 for personal use of the company jet, $49,411 for travel that’s taxed as a commuting expense but that “we consider business travel” — plus a $20,793 tax gross-up for his commuting travel. There’s also a $16,800 car allowance, $9,975 for home office expenses, and $171,562 for personal security services which include a car and security-trained driver. Zaslav’s $33.3M total is 5.2 times the median for the four next highest paid execs. Corporate governance watchdogs say that a CEO’s pay is out of whack when it’s more than 3 times the median for his or her closest colleagues. Still, the latest figure is far better than 2012 when Zaslav’s pay was 13.4 times the median for others in the C-suite. In January the board extended Zaslav’s contract through 2019 to “recognize his outstanding business success in extraordinary expansion in audiences, reach, and breadth that our company has experienced during [his] tenure.” Shareholders will have an opportunity to register their opinions about the compensation packages in an advisory vote at Discovery’s annual meeting, to be held in Silver Spring, MD on May 16.
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