When Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff bought a $20 million Los Angeles home, 1,000 miles from the company’s Seattle headquarters, he signed up for one hell of a commute.
But the company is making the financial aspect of that commute a little easier. Zillow paid $165,086 for Rascoff’s commute and other business-related travel on a business jet, according to a regulatory filing first spotted by The Seattle Times. The filing shows that on top of the travel costs, Zillow paid Rascoff a $60,000 bonus to offset taxes related to his long-distance commute.
When Rascoff announced the move in July, he cited personal reasons and a desire to be closer to his parents. Last week, his father, Joseph Rascoff, the former business manager for the Rolling Stones and other big names in music, passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. He lived in Los Angeles.
“Beginning this summer, I will be splitting my time between Seattle and L.A., where my wife and I grew up and where all four of our parents live,” Spencer Rascoff wrote at the time of his move. “However, nothing is changing about my role at Zillow Group. It is not uncommon for executives at large companies to do this because (like me) they already spend a lot of time traveling each week. Where they lay their head on the weekend is really just dependent on what is best for their family.”
It’s not unusual for companies to pick up travel expenses for top executives. Amazon, for example, pays $1.6 million a year for business-related security and travel for its CEO Jeff Bezos. Rascoff’s overall compensation declined in 2016 to $3.5 million, from more than $16.8 million a year earlier, which came largely from stock option awards.
A Zillow spokesperson said of the expense, “Our CEO’s schedule is incredibly demanding and involves weekly travel to our various offices. For him to work most efficiently and prioritize time spent with his family, we believe the expense to occasionally use private aircraft is reasonable.”
Traveling to work by air, a.k.a. “super-commuting” is on the rise, according to a handful of recent studies.