Freston, Moonves Bring Home the Bacon


Viacom Inc. co-presidents and co-chief operating officers Tom Freston and Les Moonves may have a lot more responsibility in their new jobs, but at least they will be well-compensated -- extremely well-compensated.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Freston and Moonves, named to their new positions in June, could make more than $15 million annually in salary and bonus.

According to the filing:

  • Both will receive an annual salary of $3 million each, $2 million in deferred compensation and a performance bonus of up to $10 million per year (200% of annual salary and deferred compensation). That deferred compensation will rise by $300,000 each year beginning in 2005, meaning that at the end of the five-year contract they could be making as much as $18.6 million each.
  • Each man will also receive options for 1.5 million Viacom Class B shares, 500,000 of which will vest on Dec. 31, 2004. The remaining 1 million shares will vest in four equal installments on July 1 of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The exercise price of the options is $35.51 per share, the price of Viacom stock on July 1, 2004.

According to the employment agreements, either Freston or Moonves or both will be named chief executive of Viacom after chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone steps down as CEO within the next three years.