Viacom CEO Bob Bakish received total compensation of $19.955 million in fiscal year 2018, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday. That marks a small dip from his 2017 total compensation, which shook out to $20.315M.
Bakish just wrapped his second full year as Viacom’s permanent CEO, one that ended with the company owned by Sumner and Shari Redstone’s National Amusements signaling renewed interest in merging Viacom and its corporate sibling CBS Corp.
That original idea to recombine the entities triggered a legal fight in part over who would run the new company, a fight that seems to have been resolved after CBS CEO Les Moonves was fired in December after investigations into inappropriate conduct. Merger talks have been in the wind ever since.
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According to Viacom’s 14-A filing Friday, Bakish received a raise in his base salary from $2.769M to $3M in 2018. Most of the difference in total compensation year-over-year was in stock awards.
Bakish has been making moves to reduce Viacom’s debt, recently noting the company couldn’t pursue big deals because it was “balance-sheet constrained.” He has applied a coordinated, global approach to managing the company’s brands across film, TV and digital.
Friday’s filing also noted that EVP and CFO Wade Davis and EVP and General Counsel Christa D’Alimonte received “a one-time special bonus in the amount of $500,000 to recognize their significant contributions to the Company in fiscal year 2018.”
Bakish said in delivering Viacom’s fourth-quarter 2018 earnings that beat Wall Street estimates (thanks in part to a strengthening Paramount film studio) that the year was important for the company.
“We successfully turned around our core business, with dramatic improvements across our networks, at Paramount and in distribution,” he said in a statement paired with the earnings report. “We also took important steps to evolve Viacom for the future – investing in our portfolio of advanced marketing solutions, digital and experiential offerings and global studio production business. As we head into 2019, we are excited about the company’s evolution and expect to return to topline growth.”
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