John Stankey, who is restructuring WarnerMedia after an extended legal fight with the government over AT&T’s $81 billion acquisition of its assets, was well-compensated for his efforts in 2018, with his total pay package rising 64% to $16.6 million.
According to AT&T’s proxy statement, Stankey’s salary of $2.058 million exceeded the base pay of any other senior executive, with a $2 million bonus and $6.9 million stock award boosting his total compensation. A career-long telecom specialist, Stankey has recently moved front and center in Hollywood’s urgent efforts to keep pace with transformations in viewer habit. He is overseeing WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service, and recently announced a reshuffling under newly minted WarnerMedia entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt, amid the exits of the long-tenured Richard Plepler at HBO and David Levy at Turner.
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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who spearheaded the proposal to take over Time Warner, received $29.1 million in 2018, less than $400,000 better than his 2017 tally.
David McAtee, whose role as Senior EVP and General Counsel put him on the front lines of an all-time media legal showdown as the company defended itself against a Department of Justice lawsuit, saw his total pay double in 2018 over 2017 levels. He collected $12.8 million, up from $6.2 million the prior year. As with Stankey, $2 million of that came in the form of a bonus.
The proxy statement said the annual shareholder meeting will be held April 26 in Dallas. On the agenda will be elections for several board positions and votes on company proposals to hire Ernst & Young as an independent auditor and update the process by which executive compensation is approved internally. There will also be a vote on a shareholder proposal to install an independent board chairman, a measure the company recommends that shareholders reject.
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