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Rutledge Pay Package Could Top $90 Million

New Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge inked a pay package that could be worth more than $90 million over the next four years, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Rutledge abruptly resigned as chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems on Dec. 15. On Dec. 19 Charter announced  that he would become its new CEO, effective Feb. 12. Rutledge, considered to be one of the top operational executives in the cable industry, will take over for Mike Lovett, who announced earlier this year that he would step down.

According to documents filed with the SEC on Dec. 19, Rutledge has agreed to a four-year deal that expires on Feb. 13, 2016. He will receive an annual base salary of $2 million, subject to yearly increases at the discretion of the board. Rutledge also is eligible for an annual bonus of up to 175% of his annual base salary (about $3.5 million per year ) and over a four-year period will receive stock options, restricted shares and stock awards equal to about 1.26 million shares. Based on Charter's closing price on Dec. 27, ($56.14 per share)those stock awards are valued at about $70.74 million. Put it all together and the new CEO's pay package could be worth as much as $92.7 million over the life of the deal.

Rutledge becomes a Charter employee immediately, although he has no formal title until he assumes the CEO role in February. During that interim time, he is entitled to receive up to $8,000 per week in compensation, according to the filing.

Rutledge received $28.2 million in total compensation from Cablevision in 2010, according to the company proxy statement.