Viacom CEO Bob Bakish's Annual Pay Falls Slightly

Bob Bakish - 2017 BET Upfront NY - Getty - H 2018
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The exec received compensation worth $20 million in the latest fiscal year.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish received compensation worth $20 million in the latest fiscal year, compared with $20.3 million in the previous fiscal year, which had been his first as CEO.

The CEO earned a base salary of $3 million, compared with $2.8 million in the previous year, with the rest coming in stock, options and other forms of compensation, Viacom disclosed Friday in a regulatory filing.

The Redstone family's National Amusements controls about 80 percent of the voting shares of Viacom. Shari Redstone serves as Viacom's vice chair, with Sumner Redstone serving as chairman emeritus who has not been compensated.

Viacom also said Friday that CFO Wade Davis was paid $7.1 million in 2018, up from $6.5 million; general counsel Christa D'Alimonte made $3.8 million, up from $2.4 million; and executive vp global affairs Doretha Lea earned $2.4 million, up from $2.3 million.

Bakish, who has been permanent CEO since December 2016, recently lauded Viacom for stabilizing its operations in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 and has vowed the company would return to revenue growth in the current fiscal year. Viacom in its latest fiscal year managed to "cement" its turnaround, while in the new year it "will lean more into our investment initiatives and build incremental businesses," he said. "I'm excited about '19."

Viacom's adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations for the fiscal year rose 9 percent. Its stock jumped 21 percent during the fiscal year. 

Viacom and corporate sibling CBS Corp., which have been separate companies since 2006, have discussed a recombination twice in recent years amid the industry’s ongoing consolidation without a deal materializing.

One key hurdle was former CBS boss Leslie Moonves, who had to leave the company in September following sexual harassment allegations. When CBS disclosed Moonves' exit in September, it also settled a legal dispute with National Amusements and said the controlling shareholder "confirmed that it has no plans to propose a merger of CBS and Viacom and has agreed that it will make no such proposal for at least two years after the date of the settlement."