Inside Move: Katzenberg waves bye-bye to bonuses

CEO to rely on stock for salary

Jeffrey Katzenberg is now the lowest-paid person in Hollywood.

DreamWorks Animation CEO has waived all of his equity bonuses through 2008, worth $6 million-$8 million per year. That leaves the exec with an annual salary of $1 per year.

Move puts Katzenberg in a small group of execs that includes his soon-to-be former rival Steve Jobs, CEO of Pixar and Apple, who rely entirely on the growth of their stock, rather than continuing compensation, as a reward for their work. As of last year’s proxy statement, Katzenberg, in partnership with David Geffen and Paul Allen, owned almost 60% of DWA’s common stock.

Though the company didn’t give a reason for his decision to forgo compensation, he’s apparently doing so to make room for Lewis Coleman, who took the prexy title from Katzenberg late last year in a bid to rebuild investor confidence. DWA faced shareholder lawsuits and an SEC inquiry after it reported significantly higher than expected returns of the “Shrek 2” DVD last winter without giving shareholders prior warning.

Coleman’s total cash and equity compensation will be $5.5 million-$6.25 million per year, a little less than Katzenberg is giving up.

The new prexy’s contract runs through 2008.