Comcast Corp. retained top executive Stephen Burke with a new five-year contract with incentives valued at $20 million, the company said yesterday.
Burke, a former Disney executive and Comcast's chief operating officer, is expected to play the central role in integrating NBC Universal Inc. into the cable giant, and he will directly supervise NBCU chief executive Jeffrey Zucker, according to the company's 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Earlier this month, Comcast announced that it would purchase a controlling stake in NBC Universal, which operates cable-TV channels, amusement parks, the NBC broadcast-TV network, and a movie studio, in a $30 billion deal.
Federal antitrust regulators and the Federal Communications Commission must approve the deal.
Burke's new contract pays a $3 million signing bonus, $2 million in retirement contributions, and $6 million in restricted Comcast stock. Burke will receive an additional $3 million in cash and $6 million in restricted Comcast stock when the NBCU purchase closes or, at the latest, next summer.
Burke's retention package will be paid even if regulators reject the NBCU deal, the company said.
Burke's prior contract would have expired next December. The new contract does not contain provisions for boosting his base salary - which was $2.2 million in 2008 - or his bonus, the company said.
Separately, Berkshire Hathway Inc., the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, appointed Burke, 51, to its board of directors yesterday.
Comcast also reached a new three-year contract with chief financial officer Michael Angelakis, 45, valued at $10 million in signing bonus, retirement contributions and Comcast stock. In addition, he will be paid a base salary and bonus.
Arthur Block, 54, the company's general counsel, signed a five-year contract with a base salary of $900,000 and other incentives, the company said.
"We're delighted to have Steve, Michael and Art in long-term contracts to ensure the integration of NBCU into Comcast," said D'Arcy Rudnay, senior vice president for communications.