Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by Jill Goldsmith on May 14, 2021.
It was the worst of times (for the world). It was still a pretty good time (for CEO pay).
Ten top media and entertainment CEOs earned a combined $350 million last year, buoyed by hefty stock and option grants during the worst economic disruption since the Great Depression.
Members of compensation committees on boards, who set pay, explicitly altered traditional performance benchmarks at some companies in a year when theme parks, advertising and theatrical revenue tanked and production stalled.
The numbers they looked at were not profit and loss columns but rather leaned heavily on metrics committees called more “qualitative” than “quantitative,” including a pivot to streaming. Everyone got an “A” for effort. …