Charter Communications executives saw their total compensation plunge in 2017 – due mainly to the lack of massive one-time stock option awards – with chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge taking a $91 million haircut in a year that saw cable operators across the board struggle with the new pay TV paradigm.
Rutledge made $7.8 million in total compensation in 2017, a far cry from the $98.5 million he received in 2016, which made him the highest paid executive in media. The difference was in option awards – he received $77.9 million in 2016, nothing in 2017. The cable chief also did not receive stock awards in 2017, compared to $10.1 million in 2016. His base salary, at $2 million, stayed the same.
Other Charter executives also saw their big declines in total compensation, including chief operating officer John Bickham, whose total take fell from $47.4 million in 2016 to $4.9 million in 2017, and chief financial officer Christopher Winfrey. Winfrey’s compensation dropped from $29.2 million in 2016 to $2.1 million in 2017, while senior EVP David Ellen’s haul fell from $22.1 million in 2016 to $3.1 million in 2017. Lack of option awards were again the culprit – $35 million for Bickham, $23 million for Winfrey and $17.8 million for Ellen in 2016. None of those executives received option awards in 2017.
Weekly digest of streaming and OTT industry news
Thank you for signing up to Multichannel News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.