Bewkes' TW deal signals chairman post


NEW YORK -- Time Warner Inc. is tying a big part of the compensation for CEO designate Jeffrey Bewkes to the conglomerate's stock price performance and signaling his likely addition of the chairman title within a year.

A regulatory filing late Friday signaled that current CEO and chairman Richard Parsons could stay on as chairman until the end of 2008 rather than the end of his previous contract in May.

However, it also mentioned a clause in Bewkes' contract that allows him to quit and go work for a competitor if he doesn't also get named to the chairman post by Jan. 1, 2009. In that case, he wouldn't be eligible for severance, though.

Bewkes and Parsons have argued it makes much sense to have the chairman and CEO posts held by the same executive.

Bewkes has signed a new five-year employment agreement ending Dec. 31, 2012, according to Friday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In his new role as president and CEO, he will get a minimum annual salary of $1.75 million, up from the $1 million he was promised in his previous package and the $1.5 million Parsons made back in 2006. Bewkes' salary would rise to $2 million if he is elected chairman.

In other compensation, Bewkes gets an annual cash target bonus of $8.5 million beginning in 2008, up from the previous $4.5 million and Parsons' $5.5 million previous target, as well as annual long-term incentive compensation with a target value of $8.5 million.

Bewkes' total 2006 compensation amounted to $18.66 million, and Parsons' to $22.48 million, according to previous SEC filings.