TKO CEO Ari Emanuel earned nearly $65 million in compensation in 2023, including $20 million bonus from UFC

The rich got richer when it came to executive compensation once UFC and WWE merged to become TKO Group Holdings this past September.

In a new financial disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of an annual stockholders meeting in June, compensation packages for the top TKO executives were revealed for the fiscal year in 2023, including CEO Ari Emanuel earning nearly $65 million.

The financial package included $911,538 in salary, which was prorated based on the merger date — Sept. 12 2023 — to the end of the fiscal year, along with a $24 million bonus and $40,000,094 in stock awards.

As part of his overall bonus, Emanuel took home a whopping $20 million transaction bonus from UFC alone that “was not tied to achievement of any specified performance measure and, as such, is not included herein.”

Mark Shapiro, the TKO president and chief operating officer, took home a package valued at more than $16 million, which included a $9 million bonus and more than $6 million in stock awards.

Andrew Schleimer, the chief financial officer, earned more than $8.7 million, with a $5 million bonus and more than $3.1 million in stock awards.

WWE president and TKO board member Nick Khan also took home more than $32 million in total compensation, which included a $15 million bonus and more than $12 million in stock awards.

The deal to merge UFC and WWE together under the new label at TKO was valued at more than $21 billion. In 2023, UFC produced record revenue of $1.3 billion driven by media rights and increases in sponsorships and live events, with 20 sold-out shows and seven of those among the 20 highest grossing UFC events of all-time.

Because TKO remains a publicly traded company, executive compensation packages like these are made available for stockholders and through required SEC filings. The primary TKO owner is Endeavor — the talent agency that also operates other major businesses like On Location and Professional Bull Riders — which owns a 51 percent stake in the company.

Endeavor was recently taken private again after Silver Lake purchased the rest of the remaining stock available for the company in a deal valued at $13 billion. While Endeavor no longer has to provide financial disclosures as a private company, TKO is still required as a publicly traded entity.

TKO appears poised for another huge year in 2024 after WWE inked a pair of massive broadcast deals, including a five-year, $10 billion contract to move its flagship Monday Night Raw program to Netflix starting in 2025. UFC also begins negotiations soon on a new TV rights deal, with the current contract with ESPN expiring after 2025.

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