Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s 2020 compensation totaled $37.7 million last year, down from $45.8 million in 2019, the company said Friday.
The package included a $3 million base salary, unchanged from the year before. His stock awards were valued at $12.5 million and he received non-equity incentive plan compensation (like cash bonus) of $21.8 million.
In 2019, he also received option grants valued at $6 million.
The pay was laid out in the company’s annual proxy filing with the SEC that lists compensation for its top five highest paid executives.
Companies are also required to include a pay ratio — of the CEO’s annual total compensation to that of the median employee. For Discovery that was 565 to 1.
The board’s compensation committee that sets pay found that the company had met financial metrics, making eligible for the bonus. He led the company through the pandemic and kept production mostly rolling and spend much of the year putting together new streaming service Discovery+ that rolled out in January.
The stock was not a leader last year although it perked up toward year end.
Boards also note that they track what a relevant “peer group” of companies in the same industry pay their CEOs.
Discovery is one of the last media companies to issue its proxy, which provides information to shareholders ahead of the annual meeting. It comes as CEO pay for last year has been a hot-button issue as salaries remained extremely robust despite widespread upheaval created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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