Disney Executive Chair Bob Iger Sees Pay Package Plunge As He And CEO Bob Chapek Forgo Bonuses For Pandemic-Struck 2020

Robert Iger, Walt Disney’s executive chairman, saw his pay package slump to $21 million in fiscal 2020 from $47 million the year before, which included a large bonus.

Specifically, his previous package had non-equity incentive plan compensation of $21,75 million. Last year, that was zero.

CEO Robert Chapek earned $14.2 million for the fiscal year ended in September, according to Disney’s proxy filed with the SEC Tuesday.

Both execs had lower base salaries year on year a they they voluntarily agreed to shave them during Covid-19. Iger’s was $1.6 million, down from $3 million, and Chapek’s was $1.8 million. There were no year-earlier figure for Chapek, who assumed the CEO post in February.

The pandemic smacked Disney hard, closing theme parks that make up a third of its revenue. Production shuttered and movie theaters went dark, On April 5, the company announced that Iger would forgo 100% of his base salary and Chapek 50% of his. (VPs, SVPs and EVPs also saw graduated salary reductions.) They were lifted on August 23.

However, despite the hit from Covid, Disney’s year was ultimately marked by a sharp turnaround in Wall Street sentiment on the stock and the company based on the stellar performance of streaming service Disney+, which has been growing subscribers at an extraordinary rate. At a fast-paced, four-hour Investor Day on Dec. 10, executives introduced well over 100 film and TV projects from across the company, many destined for Disney+, leading the stock new highs.

In the proxy, the compensation committee of the board of directors, which sets pay, noted that Disney’s financial performance and “strong leadership amidst incredible challenges” would have merited bonuses for top executive officers. But the committee and management agreed that “in light of circumstances this year, that no bonuses should be made.”

Executives (many, not all) across media had agreed to similar salary rollbacks, something unheard of in the entertainment industry, which is known for its particularly lavish salaries. Proxies, which disclose the pay of a company’s top five executives, will be telling this season in terms of both salaries and bonuses after a year marked by layoffs and furloughs.

Disney’s fiscal year ends in September so its proxy statement is usually the first out of big media companies. Most of the filings for companies that operate on a calendar year arrive in the spring.

The company is holding its annual meeting virtually on March 9.

Iger’s package also included $6.9 million in stock awards, $9.6 million in option awards, $1.8 million in what’s called “change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings” and $1.1 million in other compensation.

Chapek’s included $6.1 million in stock awards, $3.4 million in option awards and $2.7 million from change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.

Netflix announced in late December that chairman and co-CEO Reed Hastings is set to receive $34 million worth of stock options and a salary of $650,000 for 2021, Netflix said in a SEC filing Monday. Co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who takes less of his compensation in stock, will receive the same but with options worth $14 million and a $20 million annual salary. That’s about flat from what they were set to earn for 2020. Netflix is a rare company that pre-announces salaries.

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