Leslie Moonves’ 2015 Compensation Drops to $56.8 Million; Sumner Redstone’s Falls to $1.8 Million

Leslie Moonves AMC
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Leslie Moonves saw a drop in his total compensation last year as his 2015 CBS Corp. pay package totaled $56.8 million, compared to $57.2 million in 2014.

In 2014, CBS’ chairman-CEO made $57.2 million, including a $25 million bonus and $25 million in stock awards and options.

However, CBS noted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday that Moonves has received another $6 million in stock grants earlier this year as part of his 2015 bonus that will be reflected in his 2016 compensation tally. This year’s compensation package includes $3 million in stock grants that he received in early 2015 as part of his 2014 bonus.

Moonves earned a $19 million bonus and $32.6 million in stock grants and options, in addition to a $3.5 million salary.

Amid heightened scrutiny of corporate governance at CBS Corp. and Viacom, the compensation for controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone dropped significantly to $1.76 million, down from $10.8 million in 2014 and $57.2 million in 2013.

In February, the 92-year-old Redstone shifted to chairman emeritus of CBS and Viacom following rising concerns from investors about his mental and physical capacity. Moonves succeeded Redstone as chairman.

Next to Moonves, the second highest-paid CBS exec in 2015 was chief operating officer Joseph Ianniello, who received $26.4 million, down from $27 million in 2014.

According to CBS, Moonves’ compensation for 2015 was closer to $42.2 million if the value of about $10 million in stock awards granted as part of his December 2014 employment agreement extension are stripped out. Moonves’ 2015 haul includes about $1.1 million in payments for security ($513,218), transportation ($371,351) and life insurance ($234,564) that is paid out on his behalf.

Moonves earned slightly more last year than Philippe Dauman, the chairman-CEO of Viacom, who took in $54.2 million including a contract-signing bonus. CBS has had a much stronger performance track record during the past two years than its Redstone corporate sibling, with Moonves earning credit on Wall Street for helping CBS and Showtime move forcefully into the digital future.

CBS shares lost ground for the full year 2015 but are up 14.3% for 2016 to date. Shares were flat for the day at $53.99 at close of trading Friday.