Bob Bakish Gets $258K Per Month Through October, Pro-Rated Bonus in Paramount Exit Package

Bakish resigned as CEO earlier this week but will stay on as a senior advisor through Oct. 31

Bob Bakish Paramount
Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish (Getty Images)

Paramount has unveiled terms for Bob Bakish’s exit package after the chief executive resigned from his position earlier this week.

According to an SEC filing on Friday, Bakish will remain with the company as a senior advisor through Oct. 31 to assist with the transition. The end of his employment will be considered a “termination without cause.”

During the transition period, he will receive a monthly base salary of $258,333.33. He will also remain eligible to receive a pro-rated bonus for 2024 that will be calculated based on his service until his separation date and will continue to vest in all outstanding equity awards in accordance with their terms.

“During the Transition Period, the Parties acknowledge and agree that Executive’s level of services with the Company shall in no event decrease below 20% of the average level of services provided by Executive during the immediately preceding 36-month period,” the filing states.

Bakish will also remain entitled to enhanced separation benefits under the company’s Executive Change in Control Severance Protection Plan in the event that a change in control occurs within six months following his separate date provided that he agrees that his severance multiple will be 2.5 times and his benefit continuation period will be 30 months thereunder.

Per Paramount’s latest proxy statement, Bakish will receive an estimated severance package of $48.5 million under a non-qualifying change in control termination, which includes $6.2 million in continuation of salary and other cash compensation, $24.8 million in annual bonus continuation, $83,913 in continuion of medical, dental and life insurance, $25,000 in outplacement assistance and $17.38 million in total acceleration/continuity of equity awards.

In the event of a qualifying change of control termination, that package would be $64.03 million, per the proxy filing, including $9.3 million in continuation of salary and other cash compensation, $37.2 million in annual bonus continuation, $127,670 in continuation of medical, dental and life insurance, $25,000 in outplacement assistance and $17.38 million in total acceleration/continuity of equity awards.

Additionally he will be reimbursed up to $100,000 in documented attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with his departure from the company and the negotiation of the agreement within 20 days after Paramount’s receipt of written documentation of such fees and in all events on or prior to April 30, 2025.

Following Bakish’s resignation, Paramount established an Office of the CEO, which is in the process of putting together a long-term strategic plan for the company.

The Office of the CEO is comprised of CBS CEO and president George Cheeks, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks CEO and president Chris McCarthy and Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO and president Brian Robbins. According to Friday’s filing, the board has designated McCarthy as “interim principal executive officer.”

“It’s a really difficult, challenging time,” Cheeks said during a news briefing with CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach this week. “You read articles every day. But I think what’s good about this team is that we all locked arms and said, ‘We can only control what we can control.’ What we can control is helping to develop great shows, hit shows and being number one. I’m blown away by this team every single day, especially right now when you have to deal with all that noise out there — by the way, not just with this company, but in the larger industry. It’s just amazing to me how well we’ve all aligned and come together and focused on what we do every day.”

Bakish’s exit terms come as the Paramount board’s independent special committee has informed Skydance Media that it will let the exclusivity window on merger talks expire ahead of a Friday evening deadline.

In addition to Skydance, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management have submitted a non-binding, joint $26 billion all-cash offer for Paramount. That deal would see Sony take a majority stake and operational control, while Apollo would take a minority stake. However, such a deal would likely face scrutiny from regulators due to limitations surrounding foreign ownership.

Any deal must be approved by the committee. Last month, four members of the board — including three who were on the committee — said they would not seek reelection at Paramount’s June 4 annual meeting.

An individual familiar with Redstone’s thinking told TheWrap that she is open to finding a deal in the best interests of Paramount shareholders and supports the committee reviewing the Sony-Apollo bid.

Paramount shares, which closed at $12.88 per share on Friday, are up more than 2% in after-hours trading. The company has $14.6 billion in long-term debt and reported a market capitalization of $9.05 billion as of Friday’s close.


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