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Viacom’s Bob Bakish To Stay Through 2019 In New Employment Deal

Deadline logo Deadline 1/11/2017 David Lieberman
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Viacom CEO Bob Bakish plans to stay in the job at least through the end of 2019, according to an employment contract reached last week and just disclosed in an SEC filing. And while the terms aren’t as sweet as the ones Philippe Dauman enjoyed before he was ousted last year, they’re better than the company originally indicated.

The new deal guarantees him an annual salary of $3 million “subject to annual merit reviews,” the company says.

The Performance-Based Cash Bonus comes to $7 million, “subject to the achievement of performance goals.” (It will be cut by $250,000 in 2017  “to reflect compensation payments previously made” in a deal he reached in October.)

Bakish can expect Annual Equity Awards targeted at $10 million, based on Viacom’s stock price at the beginning of each year. Half will come from Performance Share Units, with the other half from stock options. The company already gave him $3.25 million worth of equity. On Monday, the board gave him an additional $6.75 million for this year.

On top of that, the company will foot the bill for $5 million in life insurance. If fired without cause, or if he leaves for good reason as defined by his contract, then he can collect two times his salary and target bonus, and his unvested equity will become vested.

The new terms replace ones in October that seemed designed to take care of him in case he lost his job with a merger of Viacom and CBS, both owned by Sumner and Shari Redstone’s National Amusements. They decided in December to scrap that plan, and the Viacom board changed Bakish’s title to CEO from “acting CEO.”

He was guaranteed $2.5 million to hold the top job — with an additional $500,000 for each month of service — plus $2.75 million for his then-additional job as CEO of Viacom Global Entertainment Group. His cash bonus was pegged at $3.5 million, with equity awards of $3.25 million.

Even with the improvements, Bakish will make less than Dauman, who left in mid August. In 2014 the company raised his base salary to $4 million, with an annual bonus targeted at $15 million — later raised to $20 million — and equity awards of $15 million.

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