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White Staying On As DirecTV CEO

DirecTV’s board announced Friday that Michael White has agreed to continue as chairman, president and CEO after his current employment agreement expires Jan. 1, 2013.

White was hired with a three-year contract. But as of next year, he will have no fixed-term employment agreement with the company, as is the case with the company's other senior executives.

White's annual base salary will be $1.7 million, effective Jan. 1, 2013, with a performance-based bonus opportunity for 2013 of up to $3.4 million, DirecTV disclosed in an 8-K filing (opens in new tab) Friday with the SEC. In addition, White will receive a non-qualified stock option award valued at $12 million in November 2012 which may not be exercised until the shares fully vest on Dec. 31, 2015.

For 2011, White had a pay package worth $5.94 million, which included $1.52 million annual salary and a $3.9 million bonus, according to a DirecTV regulatory filing (opens in new tab).

White, previously CEO of PepsiCo International, was tapped as DirecTV’s chief executive in January 2010. He replaced Chase Carey, who returned to News Corp. as vice chairman and chief operating officer.

DirecTV noted that during White’s three-year tenure, the company’s stock price has increased 54% versus 27% percent growth in the S&P 500 Index over the same period.

“The board is pleased to retain Mike as CEO,” Neil Austrian, lead independent director of DirecTV’s board of directors, said in a statement Friday. “Mike has set a strategic direction to continue to increase our value to our customers, strengthen our relationships with the communities that we serve and has led the steady growth of the company during tough economic times.”

White commented: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead DirecTV and its creative, talented and dedicated employees at this exciting and challenging time. I remain fully committed to continue increasing value for our shareholders by providing the best video experience for all of our customers.”

El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV had 19.9 million customers in the U.S. as of June 30, 2012 -- following its first-ever quarterly loss of subscribers, a net drop of 52,000 in the period -- and 9.1 million customers in Latin America.