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Discovery extends Zaslav’s contract until 2023

Discovery has extended president and CEO David Zaslav’s employment contract through to the end of 2023. Zaslav’s contract was previously set to expire in 2020.

David Zaslav

The factual channel giant said that Zaslav’s contract extension would provide ongoing management continuity and stability and ensures Zaslav’s continued leadership for the next five and a half years.

Zaslav’s contract extension comes after a period in which Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, home to brands including HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel, in a US$14.6 billion (€12.5 billion) deal and signed an alliance with the PGA Tour to create a new international golf service, including global television and multiplatform live rights, outside the United States, to all PGA Tour media properties.

Under his terms of employment, Zaslav, who joined Discovery as president and CEO in 2007 from NBC Universal, will continue to be a significant, long-term shareholder in Discovery. He has committed to hold the majority of his equity from stock grants to term, which the company said further aligned shareholder and management interests. According to documents filed with the US SEC, his salary will remain at US$3 million, but his target bonus could rise to as much as US$22 million a year from next year.

Robert Miron, chairman of Discovery’s board, said that Zaslav was “a dynamic, creative, and passionate leader” and “a builder and an innovator, laser focused on creating value”.

“David has done a masterful job leading and growing Discovery over the last decade,” said Discovery board member and Liberty Media chair John Malone in a statement. “He is a visionary, a strategic builder and all-round great guy. Under David’s leadership, Discovery has scaled new heights becoming the leader in sports across Europe, building the leading global IP portfolio of high quality content, and positioning Discovery for continued global growth. We are lucky to have him.”

Zaslav said: “I am thrilled. Leading Discovery is my dream job.I would like to thank Discovery’s Board of Directors, fantastic management team, business partners, and all of our passionate superfans around the world for helping to make Discovery the unparalleled company it is today. Together, we are building something special.  The new Discovery has the leading IP portfolio of beloved brands in the world, reaching viewers globally on every screen and service. Being at Discovery for the past 11 years has been the privilege of my career.  I am confident our brand strength, global platform and marketplace differentiation will ensure that Discovery continues to grow and deliver value to our viewers, partners and shareholders for many years to come.”