Charter CEO Tom Rutledge's Pay Rises to $38.8 Million in 2020

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge
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Charter CEO Tom Rutledge

The exec's compensation at the U.S. cable and Internet giant rose sharply from $8.74 million in 2019 due to option awards figuring in his overall pay package.

Charter Communications chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge received compensation worth $38.8 million in 2020, a big jump from $8.74 million in 2019 and $8.15 million in 2018.

An SEC filing issued Thursday by Charter, in which John Malone's Liberty Broadband owns a big stake, indicated Rutledge's base salary for 2020 was $2.07 million, just up from $2 million in 2019. The bulk of his overall pay hike last year follows Rutledge receiving $30 million in option awards in 2020 after not receiving any during the previous two years.

Charter president and COO John Bickham earned $36.45 million in 2020, compared to $5.03 million in 2019, again after receiving $31.5 million in option awards last year. Senior executive vp David Ellen saw his compensation rise to $10.78 million last year, compared to $3.3 million in 2019, after his 2020 total pay included $6.75 million in option awards.

And CFO Christopher Winfrey also saw his compensation increase to $11.7 million in 2020, compared to $2.47 million a year earlier, due to receiving $8.1 million in option awards last year.

Cord-cutting due to cheaper streaming video services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon has led to lower video subscriber counts for many pay TV companies, while cable giants like Charter add to their Internet customer counts.