Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s 2019 Compensation Fell To $46 Million, Down From $129 Million In 2018 Inflated By Massive Option Grant

Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav saw his total compensation fall last year to $46 million compared with $129 million in 2018, when a large option grant related to a renewal of his contract made him the most highly compensated chief executive in the nation.

His package last year included a base salary of $3 million; stock awards for $13.4 million; option grants of $6.9 million; and $21.8 million in non-equity incentive compensation (like a cash bonus tied to performance metrics), the company said in its annual proxy statement filed with the SEC. The year-earlier package included option awards for $102 million.

The company said it based the pay package on a strong financial performance in 2019 when Discovery outperformed its peer group and “exceeded the pre-established performance goals” set by the board’s compensation committee.

The proxy lists the top five highest paid executives. CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels’ compensation rose to $7.4 million from $6.6 million; that of chief development, distribution and legal officer Bruce Campbell dipped to $9.2 million from $12.3 million; Jean-Briac Perrette, CEO of Discovery International, saw pay rise to $14.5 million from $8.5 million; and Peter Faricy, CEO of Global Direct To Consumer, earned $7.3 million, up from $4.8 million.

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