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Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Signs New 5-Year Contract With Potential for a Big Raise

The exec's annual target compensation has grown significantly, with greater performance-based stock options.

After leading Live Nation through the worst crisis in company history while growing its stock price to record highs, Live Nation president and chief executive Michael Rapino could now earn $30 million annually in cash and stock, according to the terms of his new contract.

Rapino’s new contract went into effect July 1 and runs through July 2027, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange commission on Wednesday (July 6). Approximately 90% of compensation under the new contract will be performance-based, company officials said in a statement to Billboard. Including his additional stock compensation and signing bonus, Rapino has the potential to earn $272 million over the life of his five year contract.

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Per the new employment agreement, Rapino will receive an annual guaranteed salary of $3 million in cash and has the potential to earn an additional $17 million in cash based on the company’s adjusted operating income performance target, set by Live Nation’s board of directors’ compensation committee. He will also receive an annual performance-based grant of restricted shares of Live Nation common stock of $10 million based on performance targets set by the compensation committee.

Under Rapino’s previous contract which ran from 2017 to 2022, the Live Nation boss was earning a $3 million annual base salary, up to $6 million in annual cash performance bonuses and a target of 1 million shares of stock based on performance granted over the five year-term.

Rapino’s new contract also grants the chief executive a $6 million signing bonus, which he will be payed on Dec, 30. He will also receive an additional 333,751 shares of company stock (worth about $23 million according to Wednesday’s per-share closing price of $84.63) which will vest over five years, as well as a grant of up to 1.1 million shares of common stock (worth $93 million based on Wednesday’s share price) that will vest over five years and be based on stock performance targets.

“Rapino successfully steered Live Nation through two years of pandemic shutdown, emerging better positioned than ever and on pace for a record year in 2022 with over 100 million fans across 45 countries,” a Live Nation rep told Billboard in a statement. “Similar to past contracts, 90% of Rapino’s total compensation is tied to continued growth and delivery of shareholder value. Live Nation has a long track record of delivering value for both artists and shareholders – in the last 10 years Live Nation has invested over $45 billion to pay artists and promote their shows, and the company’s stock posted an annual average return of 25%, more than doubling the return of the S&P 500.”

The terms of the agreement were approved unanimously by Live Nation’s board of directors, with Rapino abstaining.