NBCU CEO Jeff Shell Pay Jumps 30% in 2021 to $21.6 Million

Jeff Shell, CEO of Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, saw his total compensation climb to $21.6 million last year, up 30% over the year prior — the biggest pay bump among Comcast’s top execs in 2021.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts’ pay package rose 3.7% in 2021, to $34 million. The disclosures came in the cable and entertainment giant’s proxy statement filing with the SEC Friday.

Shell, who oversees NBCU’s studios, networks, theme parks, and the Peacock streaming service, in 2021 earned $2.5 million in base salary, plus $5.5 million in stock, $3.4 million in stock options, a $9.98 million bonus and $165,000 in other compensation.

“Mr. Shell continued to successfully lead and mitigate negative pandemic impacts on NBCUniversal in 2021,” the Comcast board’s compensation committee said in the proxy. It said NBCU’s financial performance “rebounded well in 2021,” with revenue increasing by 26.1% to $34.3 billion and adjusted EBITDA increasing by 6% to $5.7 billion (including Peacock losses).

Roberts’ 2021 salary was $3.25 million, alongside $13.5 million in stock, $8.48 million in options, a bonus of $8.63 million and other comp of $116,000. In November 2021, Comcast and Roberts agreed to reduce his annual base salary to $2.5 million, and the exec’s cash bonus for the year (up from $7.74 million in 2020) was based on that.

“Mr. Roberts led our company’s strategic focus on connectivity, aggregation and streaming, which we believe will better position our company for the long-term,” the board’s comp committee wrote. “Mr. Roberts set the tone for our businesses to execute at the highest level, to work together across our complementary, high-performing businesses at Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky and to continue to accelerate convergence in media and technology and leverage our global technology platform.”

Among other Comcast execs, CFO Michael Cavanagh earned $27.4 million (up 8%); Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson garnered $22.7 million (up 15%); and Sky CEO Dana Strong, who became an executive officer in 2021 with her appointment as the chief of the U.K.-based satcaster and media company, earned $16 million.

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