DirecTV Execs Take Pay Cuts

CEO White Sees Compensation Dip 30.6% in 2013

DirecTV chairman and CEO Michael White’s total compensation dipped more than 30% in 2013 to $12.5 from $18 million in 2012, largely the result of fewer stock options in the current year, according to a proxy statement filed Thursday.

White’s base salary rose slightly in 2013 to $1.7 million from $1.6 million and he received $4.5 million in stock awards in 2013, versus $0 in 2012. But the big difference came in option awards. White received about $1.5 million in option awards in 2013, down from $12 million in 2012.

Interestingly, DirecTV said in the proxy that White decided to forego a formal employment contract with the company when his old deal expired on Jan. 1, 2013, and serves at the sole discretion of the company. DirecTV said it began phasing out employment agreements with senior executives in 2011 and that currently, no named executive officer has an employment deal.

“We currently do not intend to enter into new employment agreements unless, as a result of special or changed circumstances, we determine it is in the best interests of the Company and our stockholders to do so,” DirecTV said in the proxy.   

Most of DirecTV’s top management also took pay cuts for the year – EVP and chief financial officer Patrick Doyle’s total compensation fell 20.4% to $3.9 million from $4.9 million in 2012; EVP and president of DirecTV Latin America Bruce Churchill made $6.35 million in 2013, down 37.1% from the $10.1 million he made in 2012; and EVP and general counsel Larry Hunter received $5.5 million in total compensation in 2013, down 20.3% from $6.9 million in 2012.

Executive vice president and chief technology officer Romulo Pontual was the only top executive at DirecTV to get a raise in 2013, albeit a small one, According to the proxy statement, Pontual received $3.496 million in total compensation in 2013, up 0.3% from $3.484 million in 2012.