Disney CEO Bob Chapek more than doubled his salary in 2021

Walt Disney Company (DIS) CEO Bob Chapek and his predecessor Bob Iger more than doubled their salaries in 2021, according to a filing by the company on January 19, 2022. Their salary increases occurred during a year in which operations at the company – several parts of which had closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – saw a tentative recovery.

Both Chapek and Iger had cut their salaries drastically at the start of the pandemic. Iger had given up his salary, from April 2020, for the remainder of the financial year, while Chapek took a 50% pay cut for the same period.

Key points to remember

  • Disney CEO Bob Chapek and his predecessor Bob Iger more than doubled their salaries in 2021.
  • Chapek earned $32.5 million, while Iger took home $45.9 million.
  • Chapek was leading Disney through a difficult and trying time in its business, when the pandemic completely shut down parts of its business.

Former CEO Iger, who led the company for 15 years and retired at the end of 2021, earned $45.9 million in 2021, up from $21 million in 2020. His base salary was $3 million. dollars and he won a cash bonus of $22.9. million. The company awarded him $18.8 million in stock options and awards, as well as $1.2 million in other compensation.

Iger’s successor Bob Chapek also had a financially lucrative 2021 and took home $32.5 million, up from $14.2 million in 2020. His base salary was $2.5 million. Chapek’s earnings included a $14.3 million bonus and $13.9 million in stock options and awards.

A generous payer

As The Wall Street Journal points out, Disney has always been one of the highest payers in the corporate world. Michael Eisner, who served as the company’s chief executive from 1984 to 2005, set an executive pay record in 1993 with a salary of $203.1 million. His successor Bob Iger earned $47.5 million in 2019. In that sense, the salary statistics released yesterday are a throwback to the pre-pandemic era, when the entertainment giant’s business was doing well and reaping the benefits. money from multiple profit centers.

But the pandemic has caused permanent changes to the company’s business model. Streaming services have become an important part of the content distribution strategy and can chip away at the company’s overall theatrical release profits. In a time of rapid COVID transmission and intermittent closures, the Company’s theme parks around the world have changed their operational protocols to minimize crowds.

Under the new CEO, Disney is focused on growing its streaming business. While launched under Bob Iger, Disney Plus flourished under Chapek’s leadership, hitting 100 million subscribers 16 months after launch. The company plans to reach between 230 million and 260 million subscribers for the streaming service by 2024. The theme parks division has returned to profitability, and except for a major setback with Marvel’s Black Widow, Disney topped the box office in 2021, despite the pandemic.

“Mr. Chapek, as CEO, delivered a strong performance given the unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant value for shareholders, thanks to the exceptional execution of the main strategic initiatives of the company. company,” Disney said in its filing.