All the Way to the Bank: Jeffrey Katzenberg at a recent Milken Institute conference.

All the Way to the Bank: Jeffrey Katzenberg at a recent Milken Institute conference. Photo by Bloomberg News

“The Croods” were very good to Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. more than doubled his pay after the release of the hit film last year. The animated movie about the adventures of a prehistoric family grossed more than half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

OK, it wasn’t just the movie: DreamWorks also has been making successful inroads into China, worked out a distribution deal with Netflix and bought YouTube company AwesomenessTV. All those things helped DreamWorks to a strong year, according the Glendale studio’s annual report,

and the board credited Katzenberg’s leadership, rewarding him with a $13.5 million package that included increased salary, stock awards and a $6 million bonus.

That represented a 157 percent increase over the prior year’s compensation, and catapulted Katzenberg to No. 6 from the No. 39 slot on the Business Journal’s list of 2013 Chief Executive Compensation at L.A.’s public companies. (See page 13.)

In total, the 50 executives on the list showed an 8 percent decline in 2013 compensation, falling to a combined $477 million.

That decrease comes largely as a result of the pay for Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Robert Kotick coming back to Earth. His extraordinary $64 million compensation in 2012 was the result of a stock award tied to a new employment agreement; his compensation fell to $10 million on this year’s list. Take Kotick out of the mix and the total rose 3 percent.

Robin Ferracone, chief executive of Farient Advisors in Pasadena, who consults companies about executive compensation, said that overall increase falls below the rest of the nation in part because L.A.’s industries aren’t as diverse as elsewhere.

“The national trend of summary compensation is up by 8 to 9 percent,” she said. “The performance of most companies has been good and the general economics have been good.”

Also, smaller increases are a function of shareholders being allowed to weigh in on executive’s compensation packages under the “Say on Pay” provisions of financial reform law, according to Joseph A. Sorrentino, managing director at executive compensation consultancy Steven Hall & Partners in New York.

“Say-on-pay has had an impact on how compensation committees work,” he said. “That has a tendency to kind of constrain large increases or things that would be potentially noteworthy. Companies are trying to stay below the radar.”

Show biz strength

Including Katzenberg, movie studios executives took three slots in the top 10.


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