First, Edgar Bronfman, now his right-hand man, Lyor Cohen. You’d actually think that Warner Music Group was a successful organization in the midst of a growth industry, the way they’re handing out raises to executives around there. While it’s not an especially good time to be a WMG employee, if you’re Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO, everything’s coming up golden parachutes and roses.
According to trade publication FMQB, Lyor Cohen, who some assumed would be let go by the WMG board, bounced back rather nicely:
Cohen…received a bump in his pay, with a base salary doubling from $1.5 million to $3 million, with a maximum bonus of $5 million and a minimum of $1.5 million. Cohen would also now receive $8.5 million if he was terminated.
Cohen’s new contract also gives him 1,500,000 stock options and 1,750,000 performance-based restricted shares of WMG common stock.
The stock options will probably prove as worthless as mine were at WMG, but hey, the $8.5 million to get fired is certainly an excellent incentive to work hard and be successful.
Pali Research, the stock research firm that recently upgraded WMG’s stock value, was less impressed, asking “Where is the corporate governance?” when told of the deal and suggesting that stockholders protest the move. Also worth protesting: The fact that WMG had zero albums in the top ten the week the company’s executives got massive raises.