Desperate times call for desperate measures. And when you’re an entertainment company that makes its money on theme parks and films/TV series, in a time when both ventures are effectively closed for business, you have to make some tough choices. Apparently, that’s exactly what Bob Iger and numerous executives are doing at Disney.
It has been revealed that Bob Iger, who recently stepped down as CEO, has decided to forgo his entire salary in an effort to help stop the financial bleeding over at Disney. He’s joined by current CEO Bob Chapek has decided to reduce his salary by 50%.
In an email (via THR), the newly minted CEO commended Iger for his decision to reduce his salary during the pandemic.
“As we navigate through these uncharted waters, we’re asking much of you and, as always, you are rising to the challenge and we appreciate your support,” Chapek said. “Your dedication and resilience during this difficult time are truly inspiring and it gives me renewed confidence that will we come through this crisis even stronger than before, we have so many times in our company’s history.”
However, as much as we’d like to congratulate both men on taking massive pay cuts, we should also mention that neither are necessarily hurting for cash. In Iger’s case, his reported salary in 2019 was an astonishing $47.5 million, which itself was down from his 2018 earnings of $65.6 million. So, let’s not cry for Iger’s wellbeing, at this point. He’ll likely be just fine, financially speaking.
In Chapek’s case, his base salary as CEO is only $2.5 million, but as THR points out, that doesn’t include “an annual target bonus of $7.5 million, and an annual long-term incentive grant of $15 million.” So, it’s not clear if the reduction only applies to his base or the entire payment plan.
Iger and Chapek aren’t alone with their salary reductions. The email from Chapek also says that “effective April 5, all VPs will have their salaries reduced by 20 percent, SVPs by 25 percent and EVPs and above by 30 percent.”
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the 2020 fiscal year for Disney, as the theme parks have been closed (and remain closed) for an extended period of time and the film industry has been abruptly halted for the foreseeable future. Obviously, these reductions pale in comparison to the amount of money that isn’t being paid to workers and those who are put out of work by the closure of Disney-related businesses. But it’s a nice gesture, at the very least.