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Lions Gate CEO's compensation booms thanks to Icahn

July 29, 2011 |  4:44 pm

FeltBurns Carl Icahn's unsuccessful battle to take control of Lions Gate last year did wonders for Jon Feltheimer's bank account.

The Lions Gate chief executive saw his stock-based compensation boom in the company's fiscal year ended March 31, a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows. The reason: When dissident shareholder Icahn's stake rose above 33% last June, it triggered a change-in-control provision in Feltheimer's contract that granted the CEO stock worth nearly $4.8 million that immediately vested.

As a result, though Feltheimer's $1.2-million salary and $1.9-million cash bonus were unchanged from the previous fiscal year, his total compensation grew from $3.6 million to $7.9 million.

Vice Chairman Michael Burns, the No. 2 executive at the Santa Monica company behind Tyler Perry's movies and "Mad Men," didn't get a bonus from Icahn's increased stake. His stock-based compensation actually plummeted from the previous fiscal year, resulting in a 65% drop in his total pay package to $2.7 million.

Joseph Drake, president of the studio's motion picture group, got a $733,000 boost from Icahn's move but saw his cash bonus drop almost by half to $400,000. His total compensation was $2 million, down from $2.1 million the previous year.

-- Ben Fritz


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Photo: Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer, left, and Vice Chairman Michael Burns at the company's annual meeting in December 2010. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.