Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino is set to collect $10.5 million in stock as part of his annual performance bonus after hitting certain financial goals, defined by the company’s Compensation Committee, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday (March 4). Rapino also receives a $3 million annual salary, but is expected report a salary below $3 million for 2021 because of a voluntary pandemic pay reduction.
The value of the shares will certainly change by the time they fully vest based on the company stock price at that time. Friday’s shares are valued at $114 per share based on the company’s most recent closing price, with about $5.3 million worth of shares (46,272 shares) vesting by May 10 and equal amount vesting by Aug. 16.
Live Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold received 22,279 shares as a bonus but donated 10,000 of those shares to a donor-advised charity fund. The company’s general counsel Michael Rowles received 14,139 shares as a bonus, while executive vp John Hopmans received 23,479 shares. Combined, the four executives’ shares were worth $17.3 million.
The bonuses come one week after the company reported its year-end results for 2021, with a $1.1 billion uptick in revenue over 2020 after the company was effectively shut down for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, the company saw more fans attend outdoor events during the third and fourth quarters than during the same period in 2019, which itself was a record year for Live Nation. Rapino also reported that sponsorship and advertising operating income reached the same levels for the second half of 2021 as 2019 and that fourth-quarter ticketing revenue jumped 118%, while sponsorship income rose 37%. The news pushed the company’s stock price to new heights, hitting $126 per share on Feb. 26, up 375% from April 2020 when the share price crashed to $33.57 a share.
Live Nation also faced scrutiny for the deadliest accident to ever happen at one of the company’s festivals following the deaths of 10 concert goers at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston on Nov. 5. The tragedy at Astroworld has led to hundreds of lawsuits from attendees and the families of those who died at the concert. Live Nation officials wrote in the company’s 2022 annual report that it “expected liability insurance (would) provide sufficient coverage,” for its legal bills but noted that the cost to the company would not be fully realized until after investigations into the festival were concluded and civil suits involving the case had been settled.
In December, just six weeks after Astroworld, rapper Drakeo the Ruler was murdered backstage at a Live Nation festival in L.A. The promoter is also facing multiple lawsuits related to that incident