20 August 2012
Mark Thompson, the outgoing director general of the BBC, is to receive a
USD 3m sign-on bonus when he takes over as chief executive of the
New York Times Company in November, in a deal that could make him USD 6m in
his first year. Thompson will receive an annual USD 1m (GBP 636,000) base salary from the New
York Times, plus a potential USD 1m annual bonus. The USD 3m "golden hello" is made up of a USD 1.5m performance-based award of
New York Times Company stock, plus USD 1.5m of stock options.
He will also receive a further USD 3m bonus for meeting the company's
long-term incentives, which will be paid out over three years from 2013.
To help the cost of moving from north Oxford to New York, Thompson will
get up to USD 100,000 in relocation fees. He will move with his US-born
writer wife, Jane Blumberg, and three children. He is eligible for an
additional USD 25,000 to cover any legal fees. The USD 3m sign-on bonus looks small compared with the USD 24m payoff Janet
Robinson received when she unexpectedly quit as the New York Times chief
last December. Like Thompson, Robinson was on a USD 1m a year base salary at the newspaper
group. In the regulatory filing, the New York Times said Thompson's
salary would be subject to an annual review, but would not be decreased
outside of across-the-board salary reductions. At GBP 636,000 a year, Thompson's base salary is marginally more than the
GBP 613,000 he received in 2011 at the BBC. His total BBC remuneration last
year was GBP 622,000, having been reduced from GBP 838,000 in 2010 as the
corporation sought to cut executive pay levels. Thompson's New York Times remuneration was revealed in regulatory
documents published by the company on Friday. The targets Thompson must
meet to receive the performance bonuses were not revealed.