Charter CEO Tom Rutledge's Pay Fell to $7.8 Million in 2017

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Charter CEO Tom Rutledge

The cable operator's boss made $98.5 million in 2016.

Charter Communications chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge received compensation worth $7.8 million in 2017, following his $98.5 million take for 2016 and $16.4 million in 2015, according to a regulatory filing.

The big increase in his 2016 compensation was due to nearly $80 million in option awards and just over $10 million in stock awards after the company closed the acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House to become the second largest U.S. cable operator behind Comcast.

Charter's earnings grew by 183 percent in 2017, with its earnings per share up 126 percent. Its stock price over the year rose 17 percent.

Rutledge's base salary for 2017 was $2 million while the bulk of his compensation came from a nonequity incentive plan.

John Bickham, the president and COO, earned $4.8 million, down from $47.4 million a year earlier when he, like Rutledge, scored a large amount of option awards.

Similarly, senior executive vp David Ellen saw his compensation drop to $3.1 million from $22.1 million a year prior and CFO Christopher Winfrey saw his compensation fall to $2.1 million from $29.2 million.

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