Viacom Says Redstone's 2015 Pay Declined 85% to $2 Million

  • 92-year-old got no bonus, hasn't had equity award since 2012
  • CEO Dauman's bonus cut 30%; salary, equity award change little

Sumner Redstone.

Photographer: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Viacom Inc., under pressure from activists for lagging behind its media peers, paid Chairman Sumner Redstone $2 million in fiscal 2015, an 85 percent drop from the previous year.

Redstone’s base salary was unchanged from the year before, the New York-based media company said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. The 92-year-old billionaire became ineligible to receive a bonus last year and hasn’t received an annual equity award since 2012, the company said.

Redstone’s Shrinking Pay

2015$2 million
2014$13.2 million
2013$36.2 million
2012$20.4 million

Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman’s bonus fell 30 percent to $14 million, Viacom said. His $4 million salary and $18.9 million equity award for 2015 compared with $3.9 million and $19.9 million the prior year.

The parent of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central has come under fire from investors for its high executive pay and poor stock-price performance. SpringOwl Asset Management LLC, an activist fund, put out a research report Tuesday citing Redstone and Dauman’s $432 million in compensation from 2010 to 2014. The New York-based money management firm called for Redstone and Dauman to be replaced.

Redstone has also been battling a former girlfriend in a California court. Manuela Herzer claims he was incompetent when she was removed as his health-care agent and Dauman took over. Dauman, 61, has asked a New York judge to block a subpoena for him to testify in the case.

Viacom’s Class B nonvoting shares fell 2.5 percent to $40.67 at the close in New York. They were down 45 percent last year. Redstone controls the company through his 80 percent ownership of the voting stock.

Viacom’s directors, including Dauman and Redstone, are being sued by a shareholder for alleged breach of their fiduciary duties. The defendants are accused of having caused the company “substantial financial and reputational damages” including paying Redstone millions of dollars while he was “physically and mentally incapacitated,” according to court filings.

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