New York Times CEO Thompson Stands to Make $10.5 Million

New York Times CEO Gets $1 Million Salary, $3 Million Bonus
Mark Thompson , hired as the New York Times Co.’s chief executive officer this week, will make an annual salary of $1 million, with a signing bonus of $3 million. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Mark Thompson, hired as the New York Times Co.’s chief executive officer this week, will receive a pay package totaling as much as $10.5 million, including an annual salary of $1 million.

Thompson, who served as the British Broadcasting Corp.’s director general, stands to make as much as $4.5 million from his signing bonus, $2 million in annual incentives and $3 million in long-term incentives.

Times Co., the 161-year-old publisher based in New York, is counting on Thompson to revive sales growth and accelerate a shift to the Internet. So far, online advertising and a new so-called paywall on the website haven’t been enough to offset years of shrinking print revenue.

The new package represents a pay bump for Thompson, 55, who received 622,000 pounds ($976,000) in total compensation for his most recent year at the BBC. Under his leadership, the commercial-free network eliminated jobs and moved some offices and production outside London to save money. The BBC has undergone spending cuts of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) since 2008.

Times Co.’s union workers had expressed discontent over the exit package offered to its previous CEO, Janet Robinson. She received $23 million, on top of her $1 million base salary. The compensation included $4.5 million in consulting fees. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has served as interim CEO since Robinson left in December.

Union Talks

The publisher still faces contentious negotiations with the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents almost 1,100 employees at the Times newspaper. Employees have been working without a contract for more than a year.

Thompson will get $1.5 million of his signing bonus as a stock award based on his performance between December 2012 and November 2015, Times Co. said in the filing. Depending on what he achieves, he could earn 200 percent of that bonus, or $3 million. The remaining $1.5 million of the bonus will be granted in the form of stock options.

Times Co. shares rose less than 1 percent to $9.40 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 22 percent this year.

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