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Viacom Sets $9.5 Million Compensation Package for New Acting CEO

Viacom’s newly appointed acting president and CEO could earn up to $9.5 million a year in his new role, the company disclosed Tuesday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The contract for Robert Bakish also anticipates that his tenure will end if Viacom completes the merger with CBS Corp. that is now being considered by the boards of both companies.

Bakish’s contract calls for him to earn $2.75 million a year in salary. He has a target cash bonus of $3.5 million and he’s also eligible annual grants of stock awards valued at $3.25 million, according to the filing.

Bakish, Viacom’s longtime international media networks chief, was elevated to the role of acting president and CEO on Monday. He will take the reins as acting CEO after Nov. 15 when Thomas Dooley steps down. Dooley was named interim CEO last month after the departure of longtime Viacom chairman-CEO Philippe Dauman.

The CEO shuffles come as Viacom endured turmoil at the top this year with weaknesses in its core businesses and a messy public battle between Dauman and Viacom controlling shareholders Sumner Redstone and Shari Redstone. The fallout for the company spurred the Redstones to push for a reunification of Viacom and CBS, which Sumner Redstone brought together in 2000 but split again in 2006.

Bakish’s deal runs through Oct. 30, 2019. But his contract references the prospect that he will leave the post if the CBS deal comes to fruition.

“Mr. Bakish will serve as Viacom’s President and Chief Executive Officer until the earlier of (i) the election of his successor as Chief Executive Officer of Viacom and (ii) the closing of any business combination transaction between Viacom and CBS Corporation,” the filing states.

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