Bewkes will stay Time Warner CEO through 2017

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2012 5:17 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Media giant Time Warner Inc. said Tuesday that it has extended the term of CEO Jeff Bewkes for another five years through 2017.

Under the terms of the new deal, Bewkes' base salary of $2 million and bonus target of around $10 million in stock and option awards will remain unchanged. The agreement also provides for annual long-term incentive awards that are tied "directly and solely" to financial performance and shareholder returns.

In the past, part of Bewkes' incentive compensation was tied to individual performance that was unrelated to how shareholders fared. In total, Bewkes received a pay package valued at $25.9 million in 2011.

Stephen Bollenbach, the company's lead independent director, said in a statement that Bewkes has "proven visionary when it comes to navigating the digital landscape."

Under Bewkes, Time Warner has opposed licensing HBO programming to Netflix because of its competitive nature and has led the charge in the movie industry to impose a delay on the release of Warner Bros. movies to cut-rate rental kiosk Redbox, to avoid diluting home video prices.

Bewkes, 60, has been CEO since 2008, and has also overseen major company restructurings. The company spun off struggling Internet business AOL, unwinding one of the most destructive corporate mergers in history. It also shed cable-TV provider Time Warner Cable Inc. in 2009.

Now the company's most valuable assets are its TV networks — including TBS, TNT and HBO — movie and TV studio Warner Bros. and the Time Inc. family of magazines.

Before becoming CEO, Bewkes was Time Warner's president and chief operating officer for two years. He was chairman of the entertainment and networks group from July 2002 to December 2005. He was also chairman and CEO of premium pay-TV channel HBO from May 1995 to July 2002.

Time Warner shares rose 35 cents to close at $45.63. The stock is up about 26 percent so far this year.