Failure to meet operating income contributed to lower compensation totals last year. President-CEO Les Moonves came in at $69.3 million, $300,000 less than in 2016.
Only one of the five named CBS executives enjoyed increased income in 2017 compared to the previous year, and it wasn’t President-CEO Les Moonves. But the perennial top broadcast earner figures to hold on to his position at the top of the heap.
He is already ahead of Disney’s Bob Iger and Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, whose companies filed proxies earlier. Only Comcast/NBCU head Brian Roberts has a chance to unseat Moonves, but Roberts will have to more than double his 2016 income.
Nevertheless, at $69.3 million, Moonves was on the down side of flat, as an increase in stock awards failed to entirely offset a $12 million drop in bonus income. His 2016 total was $69.6 million.
The company based compensation in part on the achievement of two goals: $2.568 billion in operating income (75%) and $583 million in free cash flow. It beat the latter with $608 million, but was short of the former at $2.423 billion.
The biggest CBS decrease was that of COO Joseph Ianniello, who only suffered only a modest drop in bonus pay but received $6 million less in stock while ending the year at $22.1 million in income.
Legal SVP Lawrence Tu was down 5% and communications SVP Gil Schwartz fell 7%.
Only Administrative SVP Anthony Ambrosio was able to bank an increase, on the strength of a raise in base salary of about $2.86 million along with increases in both stock and options awards.
The top two members of the management team figures to be together for the next several years pursuant to new employment contracts signed during 2017. Mooves is on board until June 30, 2021; Ianniello until June 30, 2022.
Tu also signed a new contract last year, but it’s only in effect through May 31, 2019. Ambrosio is on board until Sept. 28, 2020 based on terms of an amended 2016 agreement; and Schwartz until June 30, 2020, based on an amended 2015 agreement.