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Time Warner Cable CEO to get $80 million in golden parachute

Rob Marcus, CFO of Time Warner Cable, poses after speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, December 1, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDerm
Rob Marcus, CFO of Time Warner Cable, poses after speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, December 1, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDerm

(Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Rob Marcus stands to make about $80 million if Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable closes, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Marcus will receive about $20 million in cash, a $2.5 million bonus if certain targets are hit and $56.5 million in equity.

Comcast Corp has agreed to buy the No. 2 cable provider in the United States for $45 billion.

While striking for a CEO who has been in the top job for barely three months, his "golden parachute" is nothing new in the rough and tumble of big corporations, where well timed deals or even firings often bring big payouts for the executives involved.

H.J. Heinz CEO William Johnson, for example, was set to reap about $56 million in last March after the ketchup maker's acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.

In another instance, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop received an 18.8 million euro ($25.5 million) termination payment after he negotiated the sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp.

Their defenders point to such packages as needed to provide financial security to executives so they would be open to a deal without being worried about being out of a job.

Also as part of the Comcast deal, Time Warner CFO Arthur Minson will get a severance package of about $27 million.

Marcus took over the chief executive position of Time Warner Cable on January 1 from longtime head Glenn Britt, who retired at the end of last year as an intense jockeying to buy the company started to play out. Britt does not receive a golden parachute in the deal.

Charter Communications, a smaller cable rival backed by John Malone, launched an aggressive bid to buy the company for about $37 billion before Comcast swooped in with a sweeter deal.

Reuters previously reported in November Marcus' payout package that has since changed based on the value of Time Warner Cable shares.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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