QVC Chief Rakes in $19.7M in 2015

Options boost Mike George’s annual take nearly 10 times in 2014
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QVC Group CEO Michael George will be able to buy a lot more baubles, bangles and beads from the home shopping conglomerate he runs, raking in a total of $19.7 million in total compensation in 2015, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. 

QVC is part of Liberty Interactive, one of several companies that have spawned from cable legend John Malone Liberty Media. QVC is the largest holding of Liberty Interactive, which also includes online retailer Zulily and Liberty Ventures, which holds online companies Bodybuilding.com, CommerceHub, Evite and Right Start and minority interests in Time Warner Inc. and other companies.

George’s 2015 compensation increase was mainly due to $17.5 million in stock option awards the CEO received in 2015. George received no option awards in 2014. His total 2014 compensation was about $1.99 million.

The option awards are tied to a new five-year employment deal George reached with the company in September. As part of that agreement, he was eligible to receive a one-time grant of 1.7 million options to purchase QVC shares at a strike price of $26 per share. Half of those options vest on Dec. 31, 2019 and the rest on Dec. 31, 2020.    

In contrast, Liberty Interactive president and CEO Greg Maffei took a pay cut in 2015, reaping a total of $14.87 million in total compensation, compared to the $32.5 million he received in 2014. Option awards were the difference for Maffei as well – he received $3.6 million in option awards in 2015 compared to $28.6 million in 2014.

Options also played a big role in compensation gains for several other executives. Chief financial officer Christopher Shean received $7.7 million in total compensation in 2015 (up from $893,368 in 2014), including $6.3 million in option awards. Senior vice president Albert Rosenthaler saw his total compensation rise to $7.6 million in 2015 from $828,111 in 2014, mainly on the basis of a $6.3 million option award.

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