In 2014 Zaslav received an eye-popping compensation package fueled largely by stock awards and options that came with his new contract to remain CEO of the cable powerhouse through 2019. His 2015 compensation is slightly less than the $33.3 million he earned in 2013.
Zaslav has been CEO of Discovery since 2007. On his watch the company’s market cap has soared from $5 billion to around $16.8 billion. Discovery’s stock has taken a hit in the past year, falling 18% since January 2015 amid the broader concerns about slowdown in media earnings. However, Discovery shares are up 6% since the beginning of this year. Shares were down 53 cents at the close of trading Wednesday to $28.09.
Zaslav’s 2015 compensation includes $3.1 million in salary, $11.2 million in stock awards and $10.4 million in stock options, plus an incentive bonus of $6.9 million. His 2014 stock awards came with an obligation to hold on to 60% of the shares through the 2019 term of his current contract. And he also has to use 35% of the cash proceeds from any stock sales to buy more Discovery shares.
Discovery International president Jean-Briac Perrette was the second highest-paid exec at Discovery in 2015 with total compensation of $7.4 million.