Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman saw his total compensation rise 19% to $44.3 million in fiscal 2014, according to a proxy statement filed late Friday.
According to the proxy, Dauman’s base annual salary rose 10.6 % to $3.87 million, but he received an even bigger bump in non-equity incentive compensation, which rose 18.3% to $20 million. Dauman’s stock awards also rose 19.2% to $12.4 million from $10.4 million and his option awards increased 25% to $7.5 million from $6 million.
The increases came during a year where Viacom was under constant pressure from declines in ratings and its stock price and as the programmer is in volved in two lengthy and high-profile carriage battles where its networks were dropped by Cable One and Suddenlink Communications.
Viacom shares were down 13% in calendar 2014 from $87.34 to $75.40 each, in part due to low ratings at its networks during the year, a tough one across the board for cable networks and broadcasters. The stock is down about 10% so far this year as some analysts have called for the company to merge with its former corporate partner, broadcaster CBS, to gain some leverage in carriage negotiations.
Dauman has stressed that Viacom networks are essential to pay TV distributors that want to address the youth market, and has said the company will focus more on non-Nielsen dependent aspects of the business.
Viacom recently extended Dauman’s employment contract through 2018. In the proxy, Viacom praised Dauman for providing "strategic leadership," boosting investments in content and securing affilation deals in both traditional and digital distribution. Earier in the year Viacom annnounced a carriage deal with Sony for its planned over-the-top service PlayStation Vue.
Other Viacom execs saw increases in total compensation – chief operating officer Tom Dooley received $35 million in total compensation for the period, up 20% from the prior year, while EVP and general counsel Michael Fricklas received a 4.2% raise to $7.4 million and chief financial officer Wade Davis received $4.7 million in total compensation, up about 7%. Viacom founder and executive chairman Sumner Redstone received $13.2 million in total compensation for the year, less than half the $36.2 million he received in the prior year. That difference was mainly due to a change in Redstone’s pension value and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings, which tallied just $1.25 million in fiscal 2014, compared to $26 million in fiscal 2013.