Burns’ current pact was set to expire in 2022. Lionsgate can extend his contract at its discretion. The extension will keep one of the longest running executive duos in Hollywood atop the entertainment company for the foreseeable future. Burns and Jon Feltheimer, the company’s CEO, have led Lionsgate since 2000. Earlier this year, Lionsgate extended Feltheimer’s contract through 2025. Two decades in charge of a media company is a lifetime in the entertainment business, where changes in the executive suite are routinely made at a far greater clip.
Under the agreement, Burns receives an annual fixed salary of $1 million, along with a discretionary annual bonuses that can grow his compensation. Last fiscal year, Burns’ total compensation hit $6.4 million in salary, options and bonuses.
Under Burns, Lionsgate has grown substantially, with the vice chairman helping to negotiate a deal to buy the Starz cable channel in 2016 a $4.4 billion pact, as well as the company’s purchase of Summit Entertainment in 2012. Not every deal worked out. In 2017, Hasbro entered talks to acquire Lionsgate, but negotiations fell apart over differences in how the company should be valued.
Lionsgate has also fielded several film and television hits during his tenure, including producing the Hunger Games, John Wick and Twilight franchises as well as “Mad Men” and “Orange is the New Black.” In recent years, Lionsgate’s successes include “Knives Out” and “Bombshell.
Burns served for nine years as managing director and head of Prudential Securities’ Los Angeles investment banking office and nine years at Shearson/American Express in New York and Los Angeles.