In regulatory filings from The Walt Disney Company, a look at the pay of Disney executives was given in 2021. For both now-retired Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek, 2021 saw a significant increase in income after the challenging events of 2020.
The now-retired Executive Chairman Bob Iger saw his compensation grow from $21 million for fiscal 2020 to $45.9 million during his last year of employment with Disney. Ahead of the pandemic, Iger received $47.5 million in 2019 and $65.6 million in fiscal 2018. In 2018 Iger was given an enhanced stock package to entice him to stay beyond his expected retirement date.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek also saw his compensation double in 2021. He earned $32.46 million in comparison to $14.1 million in 2020 during the pandemic. Both executives took lower pay due to the challenges it brought about. Chapek took on the role of CEO in February 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning.
The big increase in both executives’ pay came from the lack of bonuses taken by either of them during the pandemic. This regulatory filing does also only cover fiscal 2021 and not the end of Iger’s employment with The Walt Disney Company. It is unknown how much his end-of-contract stock grant was. Iger’s last day with Disney was on December 31, 2021.
In the filing, Disney cited the pandemic-driven business dynamic behind the compensation that was awarded. Chapek “delivered strong performance given the unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and meaningful shareholder value, driven by exceptional execution of the Company’s key strategic initiatives,” the Disney board wrote, while Iger “successfully directed the Company’s creative endeavors, which are the cornerstone of the Company’s strategy and fuel the continued growth and expansion of Disney+ and the Company’s other DTC platforms. This effort took on greater complexity with production delays impacting content creation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenge Mr. Iger deftly managed.”
Disney’s Board of Directors is now led by Susan B. Arnold, who became Chairman of the Board after Iger’s departure. Arnold acknowledged Iger’s contributions to Disney in a statement.
“The impact Bob had during his time at the Company is difficult to overstate,” Arnold wrote. “During his tenure as CEO, Bob initiated the Company’s DTC efforts; expanded our geographic presence including opening our first theme park and resort in Mainland China; and furthered Disney’s rich history of storytelling through landmark acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Bob carried the same level of dedication into his role as Executive Chairman, where he oversaw Disney’s creative endeavors, providing audiences with engaging stories and compelling characters.”
Chapek also credited Iger saying, “Bob has left an indelible mark on the Company, and his contributions will last for generations to come.”
The filing also revealed that the annual meeting will be taking place on March 9, 2022 and will be virtual.