Lionsgate Extends CEO Jon Feltheimer's Contract Through May 2023

Mike Pont/FilmMagic
Jon Feltheimer

The studio topper renews his long-term agreement ahead of a $4.4 billion merger with Starz being completed.

Lionsgate and CEO Jon Feltheimer have extended his long-term employment agreement, keeping him at the Hollywood studio through May 2023.

The latest contract, agreed to on Tuesday by the studio's compensation committee and now in effect, will see Feltheimer continue to receive a base salary of $1.5 million a year, Lionsgate disclosed Thursday in an SEC 8-K filing. He also will receive an annual performance bonus targeted at 100 percent of his base salary and "limited use" of the studio's private jet.

Feltheimer's previous contract was set to run through May 2018. The new deal also includes stock options for the CEO and a "special bonus" opportunity for $5 million should Lionsgate reach performance goals set by its compensation committee for the three months after the studio completes its planned acquisition of premium TV company Starz in a $4.4 billion deal.

The Starz deal will diversify the studio and make it more of a TV powerhouse with around $4 billion in annual revenue, with the combined company expected to spend about $1 billion a year to create new series and about $800 million to make movies. For its part, the tie-up with Lionsgate aims to allow Starz — the home of such popular shows as Outlander, Power and Survivor's Remorse — to bulk up to compete in the new digital landscape.

Feltheimer, who has been CEO of Lionsgate for 16 years, now oversees a studio that averages nearly $2 billion annually in worldwide box office; a TV division with nearly 80 series, including Orange Is the New Black and The Royals, on 40 networks; and a library of around 16,000 motion picture and TV titles.

In the wake of its successful Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, upcoming movie releases from the studio's eight labels include new films in the Now You See Me and John Wick series, Love & Mercy, Addicted and Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. Lionsgate also is branching out with streaming channels and other digital platforms.

"We are pleased to extend Jon's tenure as CEO until 2023, providing Lionsgate with great continuity as he and [vice chair] Michael Burns continue to lead the company’s evolution into a vertically integrated global content platform that unlocks strategic opportunities for our business and creates long-term value for shareholders," Lionsgate chairman Mark Rachesky said in a statement.

Oct. 13, 6 a.m. Updated with details of Feltheimer's contractual terms contained in an SEC filing.

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