Warner Bros. Discovery said it signed a new three-year employment agreement with David Leavy, the company’s chief corporate affairs officer.
Leavy, one of CEO David Zaslav’s lieutenants, receives a 15% increase in his base salary to $1.5 million per year to $1.3 million per year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The new salary is effective as of April 8, the day Discovery's acquisition of WarnerMedia was completed. His bonus target was raised to 125% of base salary from 115% and he will be eligible for annual equity grants worth $3 million a year.
The company also granted Leavy a one-time award of 73,368 restricted stock units–worth $971,000 based on Wednesday closing share price.
In 2021, Leavy’s total compensation was $6.469 million. Zaslav’s total compensation for 2021 was $246 million.
Leavy’s new contract comes as Warner Bros. Discovery, facing $57 billion in debt, plans to make $3 billion in cost cuts.
In order to save money, the company shelved two nearly completed movies made for its HBO Max streaming service and has been eliminating jobs, including about 70 people at HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to eliminate more than one-third of its combined ad sales staff.
Leavy was with Discovery for 21 years. Before joining Discovery he served as chief spokesman and senior director of public affairs for the National Security Council and deputy press secretary for foreign affairs in the Clinton White House. ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.