Gregory B. Maffei, the chief executive of home-shopping channel QVC's parent company, earned a whopping $87.5 million in 2009, but he won't get to cash in most of it until 2013.
That's because Maffei, who heads the $10.2 billion Denver-based Liberty Media Corp., snagged most of that pay as part of a retention plan to keep him at the helm through 2014. He can't get the money unless he stays.
On Dec. 17, the board granted him options to buy nearly 11 million shares of various types of company stock, a grant worth $79.3 million. Maffei can exercise half those options in the fourth year and the other half in the fifth year. The law requires that the value of such grants be stated in the year they are awarded. Next year, his pay won't be quite as jaw-dropping.