Disney CEO Bob Iger saw his pay hit $31.6 million in 2023, even as the struggling entertainment giant struggles to rebuild itself and fend off activist investor Nelson Peltz.
Iger’s pay package included $865,385 in base salary, plus 16.1 million in stock awards, $10 million in stock-option awards, $2.14 million cash bonus and $2.48 million in other compensation, according to an SEC statement filed Tuesday.
Iger brought in $15 million in total compensation in 2022 but was CEO for less than a year, returning to helm the company that November to replace Bob Chapek, who held the top job for two years. Iger’s last full-year pay package totaled $45.9 million in 2021.
The CEO re-emerged from retirement to steer Disney back on a growth path, after a series of missteps from Chapek and the effects from the pandemic, crushed the company’s theme parks, cruises, movie and TV and streaming divisions.
Now, Iger is fighting to bring the company back to its pre-pandemic state by culling costs and finding ways to license its content in order to drum up cash.
He also slashed more than 8,000 jobs at Disney, among other restructuring moves.
Among the CEO’s biggest challenges is getting Disney’s streaming business to be profitable and determining a strategic path forward for its sports network, ESPN– which may include selling a stake to the NFL.
Iger also has to bring Marvel and Pixar back to box office supremacy, after a few rare box office flops.
Meanwhile, the CEO has activist investor Nelson Pelz breathing down his neck. On Tuesday, Disney’s board of directors officially rejected the two candidates nominated by Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, namely Peltz and former Disney chief financial officer James Rasulo.
It also recommended that shareholders not vote for the three candidates floated by Blackwells Capital.
The board also disclosed its recommended slate of 12 nominees for the election at the 2024 annual meeting of shareholders.
The date has yet to be announced.
They include Iger; Mark Parker, who serves as chairman of the Disney board and is executive chairman of Nike; Mary Barra, chair and CEO of GM; Oracle CEO Safra Catz; Amy Chang, director of Procter & Gamble; Carolyn Everson, director of Coca-Cola and Under Armour; and Michael B.G. Froman, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Additional nominees are Maria Elena Lagomasino, CEO and managing partner of WE Family Offices and current director of the Coca-Cola; Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon Athletica; and Derica Rice, director of the Carlyle Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Target.