Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes saw his compensation bump up slightly in 2014, a year in which the media conglom’s stock was driven upward first by Rupert Murdoch’s aborted summer buyout attempt and then by the ascendance of its HBO network.
Bewkes compensation package totaled $32.9 million in fiscal 2014, a notch ahead of the $32.5 million he made the year prior, which had seen a significant bump from his 2012 package totaling $25.9 million, according to an SEC filing Friday.
For the third year in a row, Bewkes’ base pay remained at $2 million, but he was awarded stock worth $7.9 million, options valued at another $7.9 million, in addition to $14.5 million in incentive pay.
The most dramatic compensation rise in the Time Warner executive suite went to chief counsel Paul T. Cappuccio, who jumped from $7.8 million to $8.7 million in 2014. Marketing exec VP Gary Ginsberg saw his pay go from more than $4 million to $4.3 million-plus, while Olaf Olafsson, exec VP for international and corporate strategy, received an almost identical hike, from north of $4 million to more than $4.3 million.
New chief financial officer Howard M. Averill, who started at the beginning of 2014, registered a total compensation package of $8.2 million.
Time Warner’s stock hovered above $85 this week, near the high it reached when Murdoch floated an $80 billion offer last July to combine his 20th Century Fox with Time Warner. Faced with opposition, the Australian magnate backed away from the deal, at least temporarily.
Even without the financial impetus of Murdoch’s giant bid, Bewkes’ company has been thriving, in measure because of the preeminent position of HBO, which recently launched digital online subscription service HBO Now.
HBO captured headlines in recent weeks with John Oliver’s interview of cyber-hacker Edward Snowden and its documentary on real estate heir Robert Durst (“The Jinx”) preceding his arrest on murder charges. And the network’s “Game of Thrones” routinely tops social-media chatter.
Time Warner’s stock has increased by more than one-third from its position (roughly $62 a share) of a year ago.