Jason Kilar was hired in spring 2020 as the CEO of WarnerMedia. Kilar signed a more flexible “at-will” employment agreement (both Kilar and the company have the ability to terminate the deal, at any time, as long as they give 60 days’ notice) with parent company AT&T.
Kilar was granted more than 1.6 million shares of AT&T stock, set to vest over four years, beginning Feb. 15, 2021, according to the agreement, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition, Kilar’s employment agreement includes a dedicated severance payout in the event that WarnerMedia is sold and he is not retained as CEO. If he makes it to May 1, 2022, he would be entitled to millions of dollars in severance benefits.
The value of those benefits at the two-year mark are worth more than $20 million as of June 7, including severance pay of $5 million. Kilar’s employment letter says on page three, “If you voluntarily terminate your employment, you are not eligible for severance benefits.”
A WarnerMedia rep told The Hollywood Reporter :
“Under Jason Kilar’s leadership, WarnerMedia’s investment in motion pictures and television is at the highest point in its history.”
AT&T and Discovery Inc. struck a deal to merge their entertainment assets. Kilar had hired attorney Allen Grubman to negotiate an exit but by the end of May, Kilar said he planned to stay with the company into 2022.
“My plan and my focus is to remain here in my CEO role at WarnerMedia. I am not thinking right now about post-merger. There will be a time to consider that topic in 2022.”Jason Kilar
He said during an employee town hall on May 27, according to an attendee, adding that he had “unfinished business” at the company.
Based on the terms of his deal, Kilar has financial incentive to stick around for as long as the overlords want him in place. And it seems they mean to keep him for now. A source close to the situation told THR that Kilar “truly believes in this mission and if it goes well, he wants credit for it.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter