AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron received compensation of $18.9 million in 2021, down from $20.92 million in 2020, according to the pandemic-impacted cinema giant’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Aron’s base salary rose to $1.45 million, from $1.1 million a year-earlier, and he took home no bonus last year, after receiving one for $5 million in 2020. The key driver for his overall pay package in 2021 was $6 million in a non-equity incentive plan compensation, where he received nothing from that category in the year-earlier period.
And his stock awards came to $11.4 million in 2021, against $14.8 million in stock awards in 2020. AMC’s proxy statement also showed Sean Goodman, CFO of AMC Entertainment, made $4.7 million last year, just up from $4.24 million in 2020, his first year with the company.
John D. McDonald, executive vp of U.S. operations, took home $3.01 million in 2021, just down from $3.4 million in overall compensation for 2020. AMC Theaters is the world’s largest exhibitor and faced a host of strategic challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health response.
After facing possible bankruptcy, Aron cheered on online traders on platforms like Reddit and TikTok as they embraced the company’s stock and sent its value skywards. That share price lift allowed AMC to raise new debt and cash to ride out the pandemic.
More recently, AMC Theatres has acquired smaller exhibitor chains or taken over the leases from troubled chains, and begun diversifying its business into branded-AMC popcorn and other new revenue streams.