Broadcaster ITV today said it would pay incoming boss Adam Crozier a £200,000 windfall just for joining the company next month.
The immediate award for Mr Crozier - currently chief executive of Royal Mail - comes on top of a £775,000 basic salary, a one-off deferred share incentive worth more than £2 million at today's share price and a further £420,000 in shares that will vest over the next 18 months.
He will also be entitled to the regular annual bonus and long-term share scheme payouts.
ITV's annual report also showed the group handed Mr Crozier's predecessor Michael Grade a £1.2 million cash bonus for 2009.
Mr Crozier's basic salary is less than the £825,000 paid to former chairman and chief executive Mr Grade in 2009.
But a generous wider package has been offered with incentives to drive the embattled firm's turnaround over the next few years.
ITV said none of the one-off 4.1 million shares award would vest if shareholder return was below par.
However, it failed to explain the immediate cash and share payments that Mr Crozier would be awarded on joining, saying only that they are "conditional on his joining the company as expected on 26 April".
Mr Crozier has come under scrutiny over his pay in the past, having been dubbed Britain's highest paid public servant with a package at Royal Mail estimated at more than £3 million in 2008.
In 2009 he reportedly received more than £995,000, not including his pension and long-term incentive plans.
ITV's pay plans for the chief executive post has also been under the spotlight during its lengthy and fraught search for a replacement to Mr Grade.
Previous candidate Tony Ball, the former head of BSkyB who pulled out of the running last September citing "significant differences", was said to have initially demanded as much as £42 million in a share and pay arrangement over five years, which later reduced to around £20 million in negotiations.
ITV's recently hired non-executive chairman Archie Norman joined on a £300,000 salary, plus 1.2 million in shares that will pay out over three years.
A spokeswoman for ITV said Mr Crozier's "golden hello" is partly in lieu of some bonus payments he would not receive on leaving Royal Mail, although Royal Mail declined to comment.
ITV added it would be reviewing executive incentives this year in consultation with major shareholders to ensure targets are closely aligned with the outcome of its current strategic review.
Its annual report released alongside details of Mr Crozier's package shows the group made significant increases in pay and bonuses for senior executives last year.
Mr Grade's total pay leapt from £934,000 in 2008 to £2.1 million in 2009, while chief operating officer John Cresswell - who has been acting as interim chief executive since January this year - earned £958,000, up from £599,000.
The management team steered ITV to an annual profit in 2009, with a £25 million surplus marking a significant recovery on the £2.7 billion loss in 2008.
This was helped by a revival in television advertising revenues and a harsh cost-cutting regime that claimed 1,200 jobs last year.
But bosses failed to secure the scrapping of its onerous Contract Rights Renewal system - rules governing how much the broadcaster can charge advertisers which were introduced to protect them from the broadcaster's dominant position when Carlton and Granada merged to form ITV in 2003.
Mr Grade had been campaigning for the rules to be relaxed to allow greater flexibility in negotiations with advertisers, but the proposals were rebuffed by the Competition Commission in a disappointing decision for the broadcaster.Reuse content