Today, The Walt Disney Company’s 2020 executive compensation numbers were released — this included what Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Executive Chairman Bob Iger received — and fans online are not necessarily happy with the numbers, particularly amid Disney’s tens of thousands of layoffs over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iger was paid a total of $21 million, Chapek earned $14.2 million, CFO Christine McCarthy made $10.9 million, and Senior Executive Vice President M. Jayne Parker was paid $7.3 million.
To be fair, in spring 2020, both Mr. Chapek and Mr. Iger did take significant pay cuts as Disney lost money hand-over-foot during the coronavirus outbreak. Three of the company’s six global theme parks — Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland — remain closed alongside Disney Cruise Line.
Another park, Tokyo Disney Resort, is currently operating with limited hours due to a COVID-19 surge in the local area.
Only Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, and Shanghai Disneyland are operating relatively normally, with advanced health and safety precautions, such as face masks and social distancing measures, of course.
Here, we take a look at how fans are reacting to Disney’s 2020 executive compensation packages.
Adam Meyers replied to The Hollywood Reporter’s article about Disney’s executive pay with the following thoughts:
The lowest salary mentioned in this article is $14.1 MILLION. How many of those workers laid off do you think could have increased quality of life if JUST Chapek’s salary was lowered by $4 million and spread among them? He’d be JUST FINE with 10 mil instead of 14. PLUS Iger’s cut
The lowest salary mentioned in this article is $14.1 MILLION. How many of those workers laid off do you think could have increased quality of life if JUST chapek’s salary was lowered by $4 million and spread among them? he’d be JUST FINE with 10 mil instead of 14. PLUS Iger’s cut
— Adam Myers (@TheAdamSplitter) January 19, 2021
A Cast Member shared this opinion about the current Disney CEO:
Chapek didn’t even let us switch our perk from main gate to Disney+ during quarantine, that’s how little he values his employees
Chapek didn't even let us switch our perk from main gate to Disney+ during quarantine, that's how little he values his employees
— Echo, Crow An (@EchoCRowan) January 19, 2021
Orlando area reporter Ashley Carter shared these details about last year’s Walt Disney Company compensation:
The Walt Disney Company has revealed 2020 compensation for its top executives. Executive chairman Bob Iger made $21 million in total compensation, while CEO Bob Chapek, who became CEO in late February, made $14 million
The Walt Disney Company has revealed 2020 compensation for its top executives. Executive chairman Bob Iger made $21 million in total compensation, while CEO Bob Chapek, who became CEO in late February, made $14 million. pic.twitter.com/oLvKLBXNNR
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) January 19, 2021
The immediate responses to Carter’s post included:
And too many people at Disney lost their jobs in 2020…
This won’t sit well
And too many people at @Disney lost their jobs in 2020…
— Dawn DeVries Sokol 😷 🌵 (@dawndsokol) January 19, 2021
On the flip side, some Disney fans noted that Chapek is the company’s lowest-paid CEO in quite some time. Nick Turner wrote:
Covid squeezes the pay of Disney’s Bobs
Iger’s compensation drops 56%, and Chapek is the company’s lowest-paid CEO in more than a decade.
Covid squeezes the pay of Disney's Bobs.
— Nick Turner (@NewsyNick) January 19, 2021
While Mr. Chapek just took over the mantle of Walt Disney Company CEO in February 2020, just before the pandemic began in earnest in the United States, Mr. Iger is set to step down from Disney this year to pursue other projects, including work on a start-up board.
Other executive shake-ups have also occurred this year, with Disney completely restructuring to focus on Disney+ and original streaming content. Kareem Daniel was named head of this new direct-to-consumer division of the company.
Moving forward, it will certainly be interesting to see how the streaming executives’ compensation compares to others in more well-established departments, such as Josh D’Amaro’s Parks, Experiences and Products division.
What do you think? Should Mr. Iger and Mr. Chapek have taken even less in 2020 or is their compensation reasonable?