Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns Extends Contract Through 2023

Michael Burns - La La Land Premiere - Getty - H - 2016
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The top executive has re-upped with the studio amid international growth for the studio's Starz platform.

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns has extended his long-term employment contract with the Hollywood studio through October 2023.

Lionsgate in an SEC filing announced the new long-term deal, which comes ahead of the current contract expiring in October 2022. The studio also has discretion to extend the latest contract through October 2024.

The studio's CEO, Jon Feltheimer, earlier saw his contract agreement with Lionsgate renewed. That makes the combination of Feltheimer and vice-chair Burns one of the longest-running senior management teams in the entertainment industry, having both joined the company in March 2000.

Burns received compensation of $6.37 million in fiscal 2020 from the Hollywood studio, up from $5.17 million in fiscal 2019. Financial terms of his latest contract, which includes a base salary of $1 million per year, remains the same, except for stock appreciation rights for 1.5 million class B shares in the studio that will vest only if Lionsgate’s stock price doubles over the next three years.

The latest extension for Burns's contract also follows strong digital subscriber growth for the Starz streaming platform as it expands internationally. Starz has seen record growth in global streaming subscribers to nearly 14 million customers internationally.

That subscriber growth at Starz continues a pivot to the streaming arena for Lionsgate on the strength of new TV show launches like Ghost, the first Power spin-off, the second season launch of Spanish Princess and P-Valley. Starz's international business also gained from launches in the U.K., Brazil and other key territories.