Netflix said today that it plans to give its co-chief operating officers the same compensation packages of $40 million each for 2024.
Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters will receive base salaries of $3 million; $6 million target bonus; One RSU award with a total value of $15.5 million and one PSU award also valued at $15 million. RSUs are time-based restricted stock units. PSUs are performance-based restricted stock units. Netflix calls the packages Total Target Compensation.
The figures from the SEC filing reflect a change in the way Netflix pays its top executives. For one, the board no longer allows executives to choose whether they would prefer to be paid in cash or stock. “Historically, executives have been allowed to allocate compensation toward cash salary and stock options. The Committee has decided to eliminate this program feature to address shareholder concerns that executives may choose all cash compensation,” the Compensation Committee said.
Sarandos had opted to take the bulk of his salary in cash in recent years.
Netflix is alone among most companies expecting payouts for next year that call the packages total target compensation. Hastings, now executive chairman, has the figure at $1 million. CFO Spencer Newman is worth $15 million; Chief Legal Officer David Hyman at $11 million.
Company compensation figures in a calendar year are not formally revealed for the previous year until proxy season in the spring.
A year ago, Netflix said then-co-CEO Reed Hastings would get a $34.6 million package in 2023, and Sarandos would get a $40 million package. Hastings moved back in January and Peters became co-chief executive.
Hastings and Sarandos were awarded packages of more than $50 million for 2022 – an increase from the previous year for both. Sarandos took a base salary of $20 million that year. Another change Netflix said is that it now sets a fixed base salary for the co-CEO at $3 million; $100,000 for the executive chairman (Reed Hastings) and $1.5 million for its other executive officers.
Media CEO salaries have always been high and he was front and center during the actors’ and writers’ strikes. Netflix has seen shareholders vote against pay several times over the past few years. Votes at the annual meeting, called say-on-pay, are not binding.