August 3, 2010 / 6:11 PM / 9 years ago

News Corp ties Murdoch pay closer to share price

* Compensation committee shifts pay emphasis to shares

* Carey’s salary slashed by half

* CFO DeVoe’s employment contract extended to 2014

NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) - News Corp (NWSA.O) has tied its top executives’ compensation closer to the company’s share performance, according to a regulatory filing.

Top executives, including Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and his No. 2 Chase Carey, will see an increase in the total portion of their compensation that is performance-based and tied to the company’s equity. It is a change from a previous compensation framework which was based on the company’s annual earnings per share and discretionary long-term equity awards.

Other executives affected include James Murdoch, who is chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia, and Chief Financial Officer David DeVoe.

According to the filing, two-thirds of the executives’ annual bonuses will be based on financial and operating performance and one-third will be based on qualitative factors.

Rupert Murdoch, who controls the company, now has an annual bonus target of $12.5 million, with a maximum bonus opportunity of $25 million.

In order to shift the compensation structure, Carey’s base salary was slashed by half to $4.05 million from $8.1 million. But Carey will be eligible to receive performance-related share units worth up to $20 million.

James Murdoch’s annual bonus target is now $6 million, but he can receive up to $12 million as his maximum bonus opportunity. He is Rupert’s son.

DeVoe’s employment agreement was extended by five years from November 2009 to November 2014 and in connection with that will receive an award of cash-settled restricted stock units worth $5 million.

In recent years, compensation committees of major companies’ boards have been making a shift toward rewarding executives more in line with share prices rather than with financial metrics which could be manipulated by management.

News Corp reports its quarterly and annual financial results on Wednesday. Its shares were down 4 cents to $13.62 in afternoon trading on Tuesday. (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke)

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