While we’re generally against overpaying leaders of businesses having problems, 2020 was a unique year and circumstances. If we analyze what happened to AMC, with the start featuring CEO Adam Aron fighting against Universal in the press (see: AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies), the year quickly morphed into numerous struggles to keep AMC solvent.
Without knowing too many details about Aron’s direct activities, the current scoreboard says AMC theaters are open in our area, while #2 Regal Cinemas are not. That alone tells me he’s done something right. He fought to keep the doors open. Also, his base salary is $1.1 million, which is a lot, certainly, but not outlandish in comparison to CEOs of other companies.
Lastly, a major part of his compensation was in stock bonus, not cash.
The company pre-announced the bonus — there was no bonus in either 2018 or 2019 — citing Aron’s efforts to keep the struggling exhibitor afloat during a global pandemic that shuttered theaters. The circuit, which was close to bankruptcy, was saved by a capital raise late last year and love from retail investors on Reddit.AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron’s 2020 Compensation Doubled to $20.9M – Deadline
Can’t go as far as to say Aron deserves the compensation, his actions certainly lend support to it more than dissuade. I feel a much better use of the money would have been to pay the many furloughed AMC employees than line the pockets of its CEO, but that’s personal preference rather than any kind of wise business decision.
I’m torn on this one, what about you? Did Aron deserve this compensation? He didn’t bail when the times were tough, he has stuck in there and done everything he could do to get the doors reopened and stay open. We’re grateful for that, at least.
We’ve been able to see 10 movies in 2021 so far thanks to AMC theaters being open. The theaters have been very clean and we feel safe in there or we wouldn’t keep going back. That tells us the fish doesn’t stink at the head.