New York Times CEO Thompson Stands to Make $10.5 Million

Union Employees Still Working Without a Contract

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Mark Thompson, hired as the New York Times Co.'s chief executive officer this week, will receive a pay package totaling as much as $10.5 million, including an annual salary of $1 million.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Mr. Thompson, who served as the British Broadcasting Corp.'s director general, stands to make as much as $4.5 million from his signing bonus, $2 million in annual incentives and $3 million in long-term incentives.

Times Co., the 161-year-old publisher, is counting on Mr. Thompson to revive sales growth and accelerate a shift to the internet. So far, online advertising and a pay meter on the website haven't been enough to offset years of shrinking print revenue.

Observers were cautiously optimistic earlier this week that Mr. Thompson would bring a constructive new perspective, but one analyst at least was very skeptical of the paper's claim that he could help an international expansion.

The new package represents a pay bump for Mr. Thompson, 55, who received 622,000 pounds ($976,000) in total compensation for his most recent year at the BBC. Under his leadership, the commercial-free network eliminated jobs and moved some offices and production outside London to save money. The BBC has undergone spending cuts of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) since 2008.

Times Co.'s union workers had expressed discontent over the exit package offered to its previous CEO, Janet Robinson. She received $23 million, on top of her $1 million base salary. The compensation included $4.5 million in consulting fees. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has served as interim CEO since Ms. Robinson left in December.

The publisher still faces contentious negotiations with the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents almost 1,100 employees at the Times newspaper. Employees have been working without a contract for more than a year.

Mr. Thompson will get $1.5 million of his signing bonus as a stock award based on his performance between December 2012 and November 2015, Times Co. said in the filing.

Depending on what he achieves, he could earn 200% of that bonus, or $3 million. The remaining $1.5 million of the bonus will be granted in the form of stock options.

Times Co. shares rose less than 1% to $9.43 at 10:42 a.m. in New York. The stock had climbed 21% this year through yesterday.

-- Bloomberg News --

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