Rentrak Execs ChooseStock Over Salaries

Talk about believing in your stock price. A pair of top executives at TV measurement company
Rentrak are taking a big cut in their annual base salary
in exchange for more stock options, according to a proxy
statement filed July 21.

Most prominent is AMI division president Cathy Hetzel,
who has agreed to a 24% reduction in her base salary
from $283,250 in fiscal 2010 to $215,270 in fiscal 2011. Rentrak’s
executive vice president and chief information officer
Amir Yadzani has also agreed to reduce his base salary from
$298,700 in fiscal 2010 to $150,000 in fiscal 2011, a 49.8% reduction.

According to the proxy, Hetzel and Yadzani each received
stock awards of 12,000 shares in fiscal 2010, which
vest in four equal annual installments over 10 years.
As part of their agreements to accept a lower base salary,
their stock awards will increase to 75,000 shares and
131,173 shares, respectively.

Hetzel’s total compensation in fiscal 2010 was $866,781,
the proxy stated. Yadzani’s total compensation for fiscal
2010 was $1.97 million.

The moves were part of an overall shift to equity-based
compensation initiated by Rentrak CEO Bill Livek. Livek,
who joined Rentrak last year, received $3.03 million in compensation
in fiscal 2010, about $2.75 million of that in stock
awards and stock option awards, the proxy stated.

Rentrak chief operating officer and chief financial officer David Chemerow also has opted to receive the bulk
of his compensation in Rentrak stock. According to the
proxy, Chemerow, who also joined Rentrak last year, received
total compensation of $2.3 million in fiscal 2010,
$1.96 million of it in stock and option awards. Chemerow’s
base salary was just $75,000 in fiscal 2010, according to
the proxy.

Swapping base salary increases for more shares appears
to be a good move. Rentrak stock is up substantially
over the past several months; it rose 50.5% in 2009 and
so far this year has risen 36.2%. Th e stock closed at $24.26
on July 21, down $1.18 cents or 4.6%.