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Disney CEO's pay drops slightly

Bob Iger received total compensation worth $29 million this year, a decrease from $30.6 million in 2008.

December 24, 2009|By Dawn C. Chmielewski
  • Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger's total compensation included a $2-million base salary, stock valued at $6.3 million, stock options worth $8.3 million and a $9.3-million bonus.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger's total compensation included a… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

Walt Disney Co.'s chief executive, Bob Iger, received a total compensation package worth $29 million in 2009, less than the $30.6 million he made last year.

Iger's base salary of $2 million remained effectively unchanged, although he collected an extra week's salary in 2009. He received stock valued at $6.3 million and options worth an additional $8.3 million.

But Iger's bonus of $9.3 million was down 33% from a year earlier, reflecting the company's weaker financial performance, according to Disney's proxy statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net income at the Burbank media conglomerate fell 25% in fiscal 2009 from a year earlier, with significant declines at Disney's movie studio and sagging earnings at the company's theme parks because of aggressive discounting.

The board's executive compensation committee acknowledged the company's slumping revenues and earnings in explaining the pay packages awarded to Iger and other top executives. But it noted that this performance must be measured against "one of the worst national and global economic downturns in the postwar era" as well as changes made to position the company for future growth.

Among the perquisites Iger received was $589,102 to cover the cost of security equipment and services. His personal air travel cost $132,374.

Other expenses, including reimbursement for a health club membership or equipment and a vehicle, totaled $14,400.

The value of Iger's pension plan rose by $2.3 million, a shift in the theoretical cost to the company (should Iger retire immediately) caused by a drop in the federal discount rate.

In 2008, Disney reported that Iger received an 11% raise despite a drop in net income for the entertainment giant. His total compensation was announced two weeks before ABC television said it would eliminate 400 jobs through layoffs and leaving positions unfilled.

In Wednesday's filing, Disney disclosed that it paid Dennis W. Shuler, the company's former chief human resources officer, more than $3 million related to his termination April 23. He served in that capacity for a year.

The board nominated Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to be a new independent director.

She has been responsible for building the online social network's global operations and managing its sales, marketing and business development.

"Sheryl is an outstanding executive who can add incredible value to what is already a diverse and highly experienced group of directors," Disney Chairman John E. Pepper Jr. said in a statement. "She brings great expertise in the online world, considerable international experience and a deep understanding of consumer behavior."


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