Time Warner Boosts CEO Pay 50% to $49 Million as Deal Looms

(Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Inc. gave Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes a 50 percent pay increase to $49 million, with most of the raise tied to its pending merger with AT&T Inc.

Bewkes, 65, got 332,226 restricted shares valued at $32 million that will vest over five years, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The award came with a performance condition linked to the firm’s 2017 adjusted net income, which was achieved, Time Warner said. The CEO also got a $14.7 million cash bonus and $2 million in salary for 2017. His total compensation the previous year was $32.6 million.

The Justice Department has delayed the acquisition over concerns it will raise prices for pay-TV subscribers -- an assertion AT&T has disputed. The two sides are scheduled to make closing arguments Monday in Washington.

Several other top executives, including Chief Financial Officer Howard Averill, got merger-related awards in 2016. The grants were meant as an incentive to keep them in their jobs until a deal is completed, Time Warner spokesman Keith Cocozza said. Bewkes won’t receive any equity awards for 2018, Cocozza said.

AT&T executive John Stankey would be in charge of overseeing Time Warner’s three divisions -- Warner Bros., HBO and the Turner networks, which include CNN and TNT. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, 58, will take over as head of the combined company, while Bewkes has said previously he’ll stay for a while after the deal is completed.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.