Time Warner is in the midst of an $85 billion takeover by AT&T, which the companies expect to be completed by the end of 2017. In an interview with Variety in January, when asked about his plans under AT&T’s ownership, Bewkes said, “I think I’ll be here for quite a while to make this work and bring these innovations to fruition.”
Bewkes received a $14.65 million cash performance-incentive bonus for 2016. That was above the $10 million target amount, which the company’s board explained by citing Time Warner’s financial performance for the year and Bewkes’ other accomplishments — starting with his role leading the merger talks with AT&T. Time Warner’s board said he “effectively communicated the company’s strategy, both before and after the merger agreement was announced.”
In addition to the bonus, Bewkes’ compensation package included $2 million in salary; $7.75 million in stock; $7.98 million in stock options; and $110,531 for his personal use of a Time Warner-provided airplane.
In terms of Time Warner’s 2016 financial results, the company noted that it increased revenue by 4% and boosted adjusted earnings per share by 23%, while generating more than $4 billion of both free cash flow. Time Warner stock increased 52% last year, versus 12% for the S&P 500.
Bewkes, who is 64, was eligible for retirement treatment of equity awards as of Dec. 31, 2016. Upon his retirement, all of his outstanding stock options would vest unless he continued to serve on the board, in which case such stock options would remain outstanding and be subject to the regular vesting dates.
Under the terms of his current contract with the media conglomerate, following a termination without cause or due to material breach by the company, Bewkes would have a severance period of two years if he’s fired prior to Dec. 31, 2020, with no severance thereafter.
Other Time Warner top brass also saw their pay packages increase in 2016, with each receiving bigger stock awards last year:
- CFO Howard M. Averill received $20.34 million in total compensation (up 89%), including $12.37 million in stock;
- General counsel Paul Cappuccio received $16.27 million (up 71%), including $9.14 million in stock;
- Olaf Olafsson, EVP of international and corporate strategy, received $7.24 million (up 38%), including $3.76 million in stock; and
- Gary Ginsberg, EVP of corporate marketing and communications, received $6.86 million (up 33%), including $3.12 million in stock.