Discovery’s David Zaslav Makes $49.9M In 2012 Compensation, -4.7%

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
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The slight decline was due to the quirky way corporations value option awards; everything else was up for the Discovery Communications CEO in a year when the company stock was up 51.1%. The proxy just filed at the SEC shows David Zaslav‘s package consisted of $3M salary, $25.3M in stock awards, $15.8M in option awards, $5.3M in non-equity incentives, and $432,986 in other compensation. The “other” category includes personal aircraft use, a $16,800 car allowance, $11,083 in home office expenses, and $23,245 for personal security during overseas travel. Zaslav led Deadline’s list last year of CEOs whose pay was most out of whack with other executives, and this year’s package is sure to return him to that list. He made 13.4 times more than the median pay for the next four highest paid executives, well above the threshold (three times the median) that leads corporate governance watchdogs to wonder whether the chief executive wields too much power. Indeed, Zaslav’s pay accounted for a whopping 76% of the pie for Discovery’s top management. The board says that he achieved 99.9% of its quantitative goals for him and 94% of the qualitative goals. Discovery investors won’t have an opportunity to vote on the executive compensation plan at the annual meeting to be held on May 14 at the Discovery headquarters Silver Spring, MD. The company holds its federally mandated say-on-pay shareholder advisory vote every three years. The next one will take place in 2014.

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