Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos Sees 2023 Pay Package Push $50 Million

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos saw a 2023 compensation package valued at $49.8 million, down a hair from the year before but with one big change — he took more in stock option awards than in cash as the streamer shifts its pay policies.

Sarandos had a $3 million base salary for last year, up from $20 million the year before. Option awards worth $28.3 million compared with $28.5 million for 2022. Also in 2023, he was awarded a non-equity incentive plan compensation — like a cash bonus — for $16.5 million, according to the company’s latest proxy report.

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Co-CEO Greg Peters had a package worth $40 million, up from $28 million in 2022. He was named co-CEO in Jan. of 2023.

Proxies list the salaries of a company’s five highest paid executives. Netflix’ hit in the middle of a webcast with execs discussing first quarter earnings.

Netflix has frequently tangled with shareholders over executive pay, particularly how it allowed executives to choose how they want to be paid, in cash or stock options. Sarandos has tended to take mostly cash. Nudged by shareholders, the streamer reexamined its compensation policies to cap CEO base salary at $3 million and require that 50% of allocatable pay be in stock options.

Stockholders can oppose executive compensation at a “say-on-pay” vote at the annual shareholder meeting. It’s non-binding but lack of support is not a good look and companies try to adjust. Netflix set its 2024 meeting for June 6.

“At our 2023 annual meeting, 28.7% of voted shares approved the compensation of our Named Executive Officers. The Compensation Committee reviewed these voting results, recognizing the importance of continuing to engage with shareholders to solicit feedback and better understand their concerns regarding our executive compensation program. In our engagements with shareholders before and after the 2023 annual meeting, shareholders appreciated the Compensation Committee’s efforts to
address shareholder concerns and acknowledged that the changes to the 2023 executive compensation program were positive. Despite this feedback, the two consecutive years of notably low say-on-pay vote results emphasized continued dissatisfaction by many shareholders with elements of our executive compensation program,” the proxy said.


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