TKO, the new venture created by the merger of UFC and WWE, has revealed the massive salaries and bonuses of its top executives. Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, has benefited greatly from the steady revenues of the MMA promotion, and its executives stand to profit greatly from the new TKO venture. None more so than Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, who will receive a separate, but very lucrative, pay package as the CEO of TKO.
Ari Emanuel’s Pay Package
Ari Emanuel will retain his position as the head of Endeavor while serving as the CEO of TKO. With the launch of TKO, Emanuel is set to receive a transaction bonus of $20 million, which will be paid within 30 days following TKO being registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He is also set to receive a “one-time equity award comprised of restricted stock, restricted stock units or similar awards with respect to a number of shares of TKO common stock equal to $40,000,000 divided by the closing price of TKO common stock on the date on which the effective time occurred”.
Other Executives’ Salaries
Other executives at TKO are also set to receive massive salaries and bonuses. The COO of Endeavor Mark Shapiro will keep his same position with TKO and will receive a base salary of $2.5 million per year, along with a potential $5.5 Million target bonus. He will also receive a transaction bonus of $5 million. Similar to Emanuel’s deal, he will also get a “one-time equity award” comprised of stock, but with a value of $6,250,000.
Here is a list of the TKO executives and their salaries after the merger:
- Ari Emmanuel: $3 Million annual salary with a potential, $20 Million transaction bonus, potential $7 Million annual target bonus
- Mark Shapiro: $2.5 Million annual salary, $5 Million transaction bonus, potential $5.5 Million annual target bonus
Criticism of the Salaries
The massive salaries and bonuses of TKO executives have drawn criticism from some in the MMA community. Many fans and fighters feel that the money would be better spent on improving the sport and paying fighters more. UFC fighters have long complained about their pay, with many feeling that they are not being compensated fairly for their work. The revelation of the massive salaries of TKO executives has only added fuel to the fire.
Endeavor has defended the salaries and bonuses of its executives, stating that they are necessary to attract and retain top talent. The company has also pointed out that the salaries and bonuses are in line with industry standards. However, many in the MMA community feel that the salaries are excessive, especially given the financial struggles of many fighters.