The board said the contract extension provides for management continuity and stability and ensures Zaslav’s continued leadership for the next five and a half years.
Under his leadership, Discovery began trading as a public company. He also spearheaded the $14.6 billion Scripps Networks Interactive acquisition, creating a powerhouse of unscripted programming with cable networks Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, ID and TLC. Last month, Discovery reached a landmark $2 billion deal to acquire the international television and streaming rights to PGA tour golf.
“A dynamic, creative, and passionate leader, David is a builder and an innovator, laser focused on creating value,” Robert Miron, Discovery board chairman said in a statement: “This multi-year commitment affirms our confidence in David’s leadership, and on behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are excited for David and his strong management team to drive further success and growth in this next chapter of the new Discovery.”
Zaslav will see his target bonus increase to $22 million, starting next year, according to a filing made to the securities and exchange commission. His annual salary remains unchanged at $3 million. He’ll also receive nearly 10.8 million stock options which vest through 2023.
“David has done a masterful job leading and growing Discovery over the last decade. He is a visionary, a strategic builder and all around great guy,” said John Malone, a Discovery director and chairman of Liberty Media. “Under David’s leadership, Discovery has scaled new heights becoming the leader in sports across Europe, building the leading global IP portfolio of high quality content, and positioning Discovery for continued global growth. We are lucky to have him.”
Zaslav joined Discovery as President and Chief Executive in 2007, following a distinguished career at NBCUniversal. He is frequently among the highest paid media CEOs, bringing in $42.2 million in total compensation last year.
“Being at Discovery for the past 11 years has been the privilege of my career,” Zaslav said in a statement. “I am confident our brand strength, global platform and marketplace differentiation will ensure that Discovery continues to grow and deliver value to our viewers, partners and shareholders for many years to come.”