Charter Communications chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge received $98.5 million in total compensation in 2016, more than six times his take-home haul of $16.4 million in the previous year and driven mainly by healthy increases in option awards, according to a proxy statement filed Thursday.
Rutledge’s base salary stayed constant for the year at $2 million, but he reaped $77.9 million in option awards, a more than nine-fold increase over the $8 million in option awards he received in 2015.
The same held true for other top Charter executives. Chief operating officer John Bickham received $47.4 million in total compensation in 2016, a five-fold increase from the $8.7 million he earned in 2015. Option awards were the main driver -- $35.3 million in 2016 vs. $4.5 million in the previous year.
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