Charter CEO Tom Rutledge’s compensation package for 2015 probably won’t set off any alarms as the company waits for federal officials to approve its $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable — making it the No. 2 cable company.
Rutledge made about $16.4 million last year, a 1.6% increase over 2014, according to the company proxy filed today at the SEC. The package includes $2 million in salary, nearly $1 million in stock awards, $9 million in option awards, $4.2 million in non-equity incentives and $205,436 in other compensation, which mostly consists of personal use of the company aircraft.
Next year’s package likely will be sweeter for Rutledge. A new employment agreement he signed last month, which runs to February 2017, increases his target bonus to 300% of his base salary, and increases to 125 hours how much he can call on the company jet for “discretionary personal use.”
Rutledge’s pay is based on a combination of financial metrics for a year in which Charter’s stock appreciated 8.9% but included a 48% increase in its net loss to $271 million with revenues up 7.1% to $9.75 billion.
He didn’t suffer from the increase in the company’s loss. The board factored out costs tied to the TWC deal — and the closing of an aborted one with Comcast, when it hoped to buy TWC — which it called “unanticipated and extraordinary.”
The board’s Compensation Committee was chaired by former Vulcan Capital president W. Lance Conn. It also included Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, whose company controls 25.6% of the stock, and Searchlight Capital founder Eric Zinterhofer.
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Charter will hold its annual meeting in Denver on April 26.
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