Charter CEO Tom Rutledge’s 2021 Pay Up 8% To $41.9 Million

Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, saw his 2021 compensation rise to $41.9 million from $38.8 million in 2020.

The company, which is the No. 2 U.S. cable TV operator and also a major broadband provider, disclosed the figure in its annual proxy statement to the SEC. Charter and many of its peers in cable and broadband, saw its fortunes rise during the coronavirus pandemic as customers’ needs for connectivity and entertainment intensified.

Rutledge earned a base salary of $2.5 million, $30 million in stock option awards and another $8.9 million in non-equity bonuses. The former exec at Cablevision and Time Warner Cable took the helm at Charter in 2012 and helped engineer its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (snatched away from Comcast, which withdrew its proposed bid after failing to win over regulators) as well as Bright House.

John Malone was a driving force of Charter in the 2010s, backing its rise through the TWC and Bright House deals. He retired from the company’s board of directors in 2018. Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media and a longtime Malone colleague in several businesses and investments, remains a Charter board member.

Among the other senior execs at Charter, the only one above the seven-figure level for 2021 was COO Christopher Winfrey, who took home $11.7 million, roughly in line with his 2020 pay.

While Charter’s shares reflected the company’s resilience during Covid, peaking above $800 a share last summer, they have since been slumping. They closed today’s session at $577.65, up 1%.

In the proxy filing, Charter said its annual shareholder meeting would be held April 26 in Greenwood Village, CO.

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