Redstone takes a pay cut

Sarah Gardner Sep 26, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The media mogul who just told Tom Cruise to take a hike is taking a pay cut. Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone will lose half his salary and cash bonuses. Sarah Gardner reports.


SARAH GARDNER: Under the new arrangement, Redstone will still pull in over $4 million in salary and cash bonuses a year, but most of his compensation will now be linked more directly to Viacom’s stock price.

So, is Redstone in the doghouse? Hardly, says compensation consultant Brian Foley.

BRIAN FOLEY:“I’m assuming that this is a mutual decision. He’s obviously a major force within Viacom.”

Foley says Viacom wants to send Wall Street a message that despite the 83-year-old chairman’s imperious reputation, his interests are closely aligned with shareholders.

But analyst Robert Routh at Jefferies and company believes Redstone could have gone further.

ROBERT ROUTH: “Why couldn’t he completely give up his entire cash compensation and bonus as Steve Jobs did at Pixar and take a dollar?”

In 2004, Redstone’s annual compensation hit $56 million, counting stock options.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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