Lionsgate said it has extended the employment contract of CEO Jon Feltheimer five years to May 2023.
Feltheimer's earlier employment deal was set to expire in 2018. He joined Lionsgate in 2000 from Sony Pictures Entertainment and has helped transform what was once a small independent movie studio into a major entertainment powerhouse, with a feature film slate averaging nearly $2 billion in worldwide box office annually, a television production unit with about 80 series on 40 networks and a suite of streaming channels. Most recently, Feltheimer oversaw the agreement to purchase premium channel Starz for $4.4 billion and Lionsgate’s investment in reality producer Pilgrim Media Group, a strategic partnership with Discovery Communications and Liberty Global and a majority investment in Primal Media in the UK.
"We are pleased to extend Jon's tenure as CEO until 2023, providing Lionsgate with great continuity as he and Michael Burns continue to lead the Company’s evolution into a vertically integrated global content platform that unlocks strategic opportunities for our business and creates long-term value for shareholders," said Lionsgate chairman Dr. Mark Rachesky in a statement. "We were early believers in the value of premium content in today’s ecosystem, and we believe that the company continues to take the right steps to move closer to consumers, adapt to market developments and capitalize on opportunities in a fast-changing environment.
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Feltheimer will continue to receive an annual base salary of $1.5 million and is eligible to receive an annual performance bonus with a target of 100% of his base salary.
In connection with his new employment deal, Feltheimer was granted an option to purchase 1.15 million Lionsgate shares at an exercise price of $19.68 per share (its closing price on Oct. 11) and an option to purchase an additional 1.15 million shares at an exercise price of $24.60 per share. Each of these options is scheduled to vest in annual installments over the five-year period beginning May 22, 2018. In addition, Feltheimer was granted a bonus opportunity in the amount of $5 million that will be payable only if Lionsgate achieves a performance goal established by the committee during a specified period following its pending acquisition of Starz.