Premium programmer Starz said it has renewed an employment deal with CEO Chris Albrecht that’s good through 2020 and will add the role of president to his title and responsibilities.
The four-and-a-half-year renewal becomes effective July 1. According to the 8-K, Albrecht will receive an annual base salary of $1.5 million, an annual target cash bonus for 2016 of 150% of $1.375 million, and an annual target cash bonus of 200% of his annual base salary for 2017 and beyond.
Per the deal employment arrangement, Albrecht also will receive a $3 million grant of restricted shares and a $1 million grant of stock options, each of which will vest on June 30, 2017. He is also entitled to receive an annual $7.25 million grant of equity consisting of 50% stock options, 25% restricted shares and 25% performance-based restricted stock units. The new employment agreement prohibits Albrecht’s termination without cause between July 1, 2016 and January 7, 2017.
Albrecht is re-upping with Starz amid recent strategy and service shifts amid the changing pay TV landscape. In April, Starz rebranded its Encore service as part of a plan aimed at driving more subscribers, and launched a new, unified Starz app that supports authenticated TV Everywhere services as well as a new direct-to-consumer subscription offering.
Starz’s flagship network has roughly 24 million U.S. subscribers while Starz Encore has about 32.4 million.
“Chris has developed Starz into a leading, innovative entertainment brand with award-winning original programing that resonates with U.S. and international audiences,” Greg Maffei, chairman of Starz, said in a statement. “He has made remarkable contributions to the business over the past six years, and we look forward to his vision creating even more value for distributors, partners and shareholders.”
“I am excited to move forward with my role at Starz and want to thank Greg and the Board for their continued support,” Albrecht added. “We have a tremendous runway for growth. I am more enthusiastic than ever about our strong and resilient subscription-based business model and commitment to make STARZ an innovative global brand with an eye to the future.”
Among other recent moves, Starz promoted Jeffrey Hirsch to chief operating officer from president of global marketing and product planning. Last week, Starz said Michael Thornton has decided to step down as chief revenue officer, but will stay on as a consultant into the fall.
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