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Time Warner CEO getting $80M golden parachute

Comcast announced a $45-billion offer for Time Warner

Comcast announced a $45-billion offer for Time Warner Cable in February, but some U.S. states are questioning whether or not the deal would violate the anti-trust law. Credit: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Just months into his job as head of Time Warner Cable Inc., Rob Marcus is set to receive a severance payment of $79.9 million in cash, equity and benefits because he's selling the company to Comcast Corp.

The golden-parachute payout includes $56.5 million in restricted stock units and unvested options and $20.5 million in cash, according to a filing yesterday. There is also a $2.5 million bonus, assuming that Time Warner Cable's performance remains on target through the merger's completion.

Marcus, 48, had been CEO for less than two months before agreeing to Comcast's $45 billion takeover offer in February. The parachute payout represents an almost eightfold increase over his compensation of $10.1 million in 2012, when he was chief operating officer, a position he had held since 2010.

The deal, which would combine the two largest U.S. cable companies to gain leverage in negotiations with suppliers and TV-network programmers, awaits regulatory approval.

Before deciding to make its offer for Time Warner Cable, Comcast had held talks dating back to October on a possible joint bid for the company with Charter Communications Inc. By February, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts concluded he could not come to terms with Charter, opting to contact Marcus about the possibility of a direct offer for Time Warner Cable, according to the filing, which included details of the process leading up to the deal.

Other Time Warner executives due to get lucrative compensation include CFO Artie Minson, who joined the company in May 2013 from AOL Inc. and could get a payout of $27.1 million after the sale, Comcast said. -- Bloomberg News

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