Loss-making Warner Bros Discovery's CEO pay rises to $68m in 2023

Loss-making Warner Bros Discovery's CEO pay rises to $68m in 2023
Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US on March 10, 2024.
PHOTO: Reuters file

Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav's annual compensation rose nearly 27 per cent to US$49.7 million (S$67.7 million) in 2023, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed on Friday (April 19).

The rise in pay was partly related to the loss-making media conglomerate's decision to align its executive compensation to focus more on debt reduction and free cash flow.

Warner Bros Discovery reported an 86 per cent jump in free cash flow to US$6.16 billion in 2023, partially because of lower spending during the Hollywood strikes that had paralysed production for months.

The company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss in February, pressured by the decline of cable TV, a weak advertising market and the fallout from the Hollywood strikes.

Zaslav received stock awards of US$23.1 million in 2023, compared with US$12 million in 2022. Shares of the company rose 20 per cent last year.

Although Zaslav's pay rose from 2022, it dwarfs his 2021 compensation of US$246.5 million.

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