Sarandos’ total compensation for 2019 was $34.7 million, including $18 million in salary and $16.6 million in stock option awards, according to Netflix’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings received $37.4 million in stock option awards, bringing his total compensation to $38.6 million. Netflix previously disclosed its 2019 compensation details in December 2018 and reissued it as part of its larger proxy statement released Wednesday.
The compensation disclosures for Netflix’s top corporate staffers came on the heels of Tuesday’s stellar Q1 2020 earnings report, in which Netflix reported worldwide subscriber growth of 15.7 million, driven no doubt in part by the global pandemic keeping tens of millions of consumers at home since mid-March.
Sarandos’ base salary climbed last year from $12 million in 2018. Hastings’ base salary of $700,000 was the same as 2018 and down from $850,000 in 2018. Hastings received more in stock options in 2019 than he did in 2018 ($35.4 million) while Sarandos’ stock option haul was slightly lower than 2018 ($17.6 million).
Among other officers, chief financial officer Spencer Neumann took in total compensation of $12 million in his first year with the company. The former ActivisionBlizzard executive who joined Netflix in January 2019, earned just under $5 million in salary plus a $1.7 million bonus and $5.3 million in stock options.
Chief product officer Greg Peters was the third highest-paid corporate executive with a total of $18.6 million in 2019, including $10 million in salary, which marked a $4 million hike over his 2018 salary.
In December, Netflix disclosed that its 2020 pay packages for Sarandos and Hastings will reach $34.7 million. Sarandos’ salary will grow to $20 million while Hastings’ salary will dip to $650,000.
From a Wall Street and consumer perspective, Netflix has been one of the most successful new entrants into the entertainment marketplace in decades. But the company is not immune to criticism by governance advocates of high executive compensation packages.
As required by law, Netflix disclosed that the pay ratio of Hasting’s compensation compared to the median annual compensation for Netflix’s 8,628 employees worldwide was 190 to 1. That underscores the high pay scale at Netflix, where the median employee compensation figure was $202,931 last year.
(Pictured: Reed Hastings, Ted Sarandos)