Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Salary Hits $49.7M Amid Shift

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Salary Hits $49.7M Amid Shift

In 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s annual compensation skyrocketed by nearly 27% to a staggering $49.7 million, as revealed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The substantial increase in Zaslav’s pay is attributed, in part, to the strategic decision by the loss-making media conglomerate to realign its executive compensation structure, focusing more on debt reduction and enhancing free cash flow.

During the same year, Warner Bros. Discovery reported a remarkable 86% surge in free cash flow, reaching an impressive $6.16 billion. This significant growth was fueled by various factors, including reduced expenses during the Hollywood strikes that had disrupted production activities for an extended period.

The company faced challenges as it encountered a larger-than-anticipated quarterly loss in February. This downturn was influenced by the ongoing decline in cable TV viewership, a weakened advertising market, and the repercussions of the industry-wide strikes that impacted the entertainment landscape.

David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, saw a notable increase in stock awards, amounting to $23.1 million in 2023 compared to $12 million the previous year. Moreover, the company’s shares experienced a remarkable 20% surge over the course of the year.

While Zaslav’s compensation for 2023 marked a substantial rise from the preceding year, it pales in comparison to his exceptional earnings in 2021, where his total compensation reached a staggering $246.5 million.

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