Massive R180 million payday for Naspers boss

Listed media and internet group Naspers has published its annual report, which includes data on how its top executives were rewarded in the latest financial year.

Chief executive officer (CEO), Bob van Dijk earned a total payment of US$12.9 million (R179.4 million) for the year, including a basic salary of US$1.26 million (2017: US$1.3 million), a bonus of US$1.11 million and a long-term incentive valued at US$10.37 million.

The long-term incentive represents the value of share options on the date they were granted.

Group chief financial officer (CFO), Basil Sgourdos took home a total payment of US$7.48 million (R105.4 million).

The group also paid its non-executive directors a total of US$5.065 million for the year (R70.5 million) including a payment of US$575,000 (R8 million) for group chairman Koos Bekker.

Bekker is currently the biggest individual shareholder of Naspers, indirectly holding almost 4.7 million shares in the company, valued at over R16 billion.

CEO Bob van Dijk also has significant shareholding, totalling 896,741 direct and indirect shares, valued at just over R3 billion.

Van Dijk’s salary for the 2020 financial year is expected to increase significantly, with his base salary budgeted at $1.4 million, but with expected long-term incentive awards during the year of US$1.35 million, US$6 million and US$6 million, his salary could hit over US$16 million (R223 million).

Naspers performance

Naspers has been criticised in the past for making its executive pay schemes opaque, at a time when massive paydays for CEOs and other executives have come under close scrutiny.

The company has moved to try and be more clear in tying its remuneration policies into the group’s performance, including detailing the ways executives benefit from significant transactions.

For the year ended March 2019, the group reported solid financial results, delivering revenue growth of 29% year on year, to US$19 billion, trading profit growth of 22% year on year to US$3.3 billion, core headline earnings of US$3 billion (up 26% year on year) and free cash flow of US$120 million.

During the course of the year, the group completed its unbundling of its video entertainment business (Multichoice Group) as well as its sale of Flipkart.

In the Flipkart transaction, CEO Bob van Dijk made a gain of $14.9 million through the share appreciation rights scheme. With Multichoice, both Van Dijk and CFO Basil Sgourdos took an adjusted strike price of their share options rather than delivery of Multichoice Group shares.

Read: How much South Africa’s top CEOs are paid compared to other global executives

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Massive R180 million payday for Naspers boss