Viacom Acting CEO to Get $12 Million Target Pay, Two Salaries

  • Bakish to be acting chief and Viacom Global division head
  • Salaries exceed $5 million and bonus can top $3.5 million

Bob Bakish.

Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Viacom Inc.’s Bob Bakish will enter the job as acting chief executive officer with a minimum $12 million target annual compensation while the board weighs a potential deal with CBS Corp.

Bakish will receive an annual salary of $2.5 million or $500,000 monthly, whichever is greater, as acting CEO, according to a regulatory filing from the New York-based company. The board also granted him a separate $2.75 million salary in his capacity as head of Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a division of the company that includes international networks and music channels like MTV. He’s eligible for $3.25 million in equity awards and a $3.5 million target annual bonus that can be increased based on his performance as company chief.

Bakish, who became division chief on Monday and will start the CEO job on Nov. 15, was brought in to lead Viacom as its board considers a potential merger with CBS, a process that could take months. The Redstone family, which controls both companies, in September floated the idea to recombine the two businesses. The Redstones want CBS’s current CEO Leslie Moonves to run the new entity, Bloomberg News reported at the time.

The cash-heavy pay package is below the $39 million target compensation of Viacom’s former CEO Philippe Dauman. He left the company in August, an exit that might cost shareholders as much as $95 million. Tom Dooley, who’s been interim CEO since then, will get a $4.38 million cash retention bonus if he stays on until Nov. 15 as planned.

A Viacom spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Jeremy Zweig, a Viacom spokesman, declined to comment.

— With assistance by Lucas Shaw

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