Disney chief executive Bob Iger raked in a hefty sum last year as the company implemented cost-cutting measures that included laying off thousands of employees, while he also battled activist investor Nelson Peltz.
In an SEC filing Tuesday, the company reported Iger’s total compensation for 2023 amounted to nearly $31.6 million, including his $865,385 salary, $16.1 million in stock and $10 million worth of options.
The package is more than double the $15 million Iger received in 2022 when he returned for a second stint at the helm of the company, but less than the $45.9 million he pulled in during his last full year of employment in 2021.
|THE WALT DISNEY CO.
Iger has been on a cost-cutting mission since ousting former CEO Bob Chapek in late 2022, and oversaw multiple rounds of layoffs at the entertainment giant last year that impacted more than 7,000 employees.
Iger, during last year’s New York Times Dealbook summit, reflected on Chapek’s tumultuous tenure.
“Again, I was not happy with what I was seeing. I worked hard to build the company into what it was over that period, a long period of time. I was proud of those accomplishments. It hurts when something that you’ve put your heart and soul into and you care about so much is going through a difficult time”, he explained.
In a letter to shareholders this week, Iger said Disney is on track to achieve the $7.5 billion cost-reduction goal he announced while disclosing fourth-quarter results last year.
The company is also urging shareholders to reject board nominations from Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, detailed in a separate SEC filing.
News of Iger’s latest payout has reportedly raised some eyebrows among Disney employees.
FOX Business’ Charles Gasparino reported on X Wednesday that there is “Massive dissension particularly at @ABC following word that @Disney has doubled the salary of @RobertIger while he has froze salaries, eliminated bonuses and plans another round of layoffs at the network among producers, etc.”
One producer told Gasparino, “I’ve never seen [morale] this low.”
Last summer Iger, in an interview with CNBC, hinted at potentially divesting some of the company’s media assets, such as ESPN, remarks he later toned down.
Over the past 12 months, Disney shares have slipped 7% compared to the S&P 500’s 19% rise.
Disney did not immediately respond to FOX Business‘ request for comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.