Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s Pay Actually Rose 22 Percent in 2015 (Updated)

Company conveniently left $17 million contract renewal bonus out of a Wednesday media release

Last Updated: January 22, 2016 @ 3:55 PM

Updated Jan. 22, 2016 at 6:35 p.m. ET: Nice try, Viacom. The company apparently tried to hide Philippe Dauman’s $17 million contract renewal bonus from the media on Wednesday — or at least, discourage any discovery — when it had revealed executive compensation for 2015. Unfortunately, you can’t hide anything from the SEC.

In its actual proxy filing on Friday, Viacom noted that Dauman technically made $54.2 million last year, which is actually up 22.3 percent from 2014. Previously, media outlets reported the all-in figure for this past year at $36.9 million, which would have been down 16.7 percent from the prior comparable 12-month period.

For what it’s worth ($17 million, in this case), the contract renewal bonus doesn’t vest until 2017, Viacom informed us.


Don’t expect Philippe Dauman to pick up any dinner tabs this year, fellow Viacom execs: The CEO saw his compensation fall 15.8 percent, to $36.9 million, in 2015.

OK, so that’s still a very hefty chunk of change, but Dauman had hauled in $43.8 million during 2014. If it makes Dauman feel any better, his ill-fallen boss, Sumner Redstone, had a far more dramatic drop, though the top executive hasn’t really done much work in recent years.

Dauman’s bonus came in at $14 million this year, down 30 percent from 2014’s $20 million. The chief executive officer’s 2015 salary was up slightly: $4 million versus $3.9 million. For 2015, Dauman’s annual equity award was $18.9 million; the prior year, it was a million bucks greater.

All those numbers come from a Viacom media release. Per the company’s prior definitive proxy statement, Dauman is actually down 16.7 percent, as he was credited with an all-in package of $44.3 million in 2014.

Executive Chairman Redstone’s annual compensation in fiscal 2015 declined 85 percent, to $2 million, versus a total of $13 million in 2014, per Viacom. His salary of $1.94 million was unchanged last year. Again, there is a slight discrepancy in the numbers Viacom revealed today versus the report filed with the SEC last year, which values Redstone’s entire compensation package at $13.2 million. The 85 percent decline checks, however.

Redstone became ineligible to receive a bonus beginning in fiscal 2015 and has not been eligible to receive an annual equity award since fiscal 2012.

The company founder’s faltering health and mental capacity has been a hot topic for media analysts and Hollywood gossips alike recently.

Viacom’s announcement of its top executives’ salaries came as an unusual and preemptive strike before the company must disclose such numbers to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It seems likely that the proactive revelation came about as an indirect response to Eric Jackson of New York hedge fund SpringOwl Asset Management, who called for the resignations of Redstone, Dauman and the entirety of Viacom’s board, in a 99-slide presentation on Tuesday.