According to documents filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Irving Azoff, Michael Rapino and other top executives with the newly formed Live Nation Entertainment will be paid millions of dollars in bonuses as a result of the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
Rapino, who retains his previous title as president and CEO of the new company, was paid a $3 million bonus, and Azoff, who was CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment but is now executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and CEO of its Front Line Management division, was paid a $2 million bonus.
Live Nation executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer Kathy Willard also received a $1 million bonus as a result of the merger, and Live Nation executive vice president and general counsel Michael Rowles received a $500,000 bonus.
Both Rapino and Azoff will be paid annual salaries of $2 million, not including yearly bonuses that will also reach seven figures.
But the 62-year-old Azoff, one of the music industry’s shrewdest and most influential executives from the past two-plus decades, is the big financial winner from the merger, landing an additional $36.4 million paid to his family trust, a deal he worked out with Ticketmaster before the merger.
“After an initial payment of approximately $1.7 million on February 1, 2010, the outstanding principal amount of the note will be approximately $34.7 million and the note will vest and pay equal monthly installments of approximately $835,000 on the first day of each month beginning on March 1, 2010 through and until October 1, 2013,” stated the SEC document that breaks down the Azoff deal.
“In the event of a termination of Mr. Irving Azoff’s employment with Live Nation without ‘Cause’ or for ‘Good Reason’ or due to death or ‘Disability’ (each as defined in Ticketmaster Entertainment’s employment agreement with Mr. Azoff), the note immediately will vest and the balance of the note will be due and paid in a cash lump sum. Upon any other termination of Mr. Azoff’s employment, the Azoff Family Trust of 1997 will forfeit the balance of the note,” the SEC document added.