Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger got a big pay bump last year.
Iger’s total compensation hit $65.6 million in fiscal 2018, an increase of 80% from the prior year, according to a Friday regulatory filing.
The surge was mostly due to a much larger stock bonus the Burbank entertainment giant bestowed on the executive, based on the company’s performance during the fiscal year — which ended Sept. 29 — and a series of major strategic moves to grow its business.
In the filing, Disney’s compensation committee highlighted Iger’s leadership over the company’s pending $71.3-billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets and the development of its key strategy for new subscription streaming video services, including the upcoming Disney+, which will compete with Netflix.
Iger’s stock awards totaled about $35.4 million in the year, nearly four times the $9 million in stock awards he received a year earlier. Much of that jump was connected to a contract extension. In late 2017, Iger extended his contract to 2021 to oversee Disney after it finalizes its deal to absorb the Fox assets. Disney also faces a pivotal moment in late 2019, when it is expected to launch Disney+.
Iger’s base salary in fiscal 2018 was $2.9 million, up from $2.5 million. His pay package also included $8.3 million in stock options, an $18-million cash bonus and $1.1 million in other compensation.
Even if you set aside the Fox acquisition, which is expected to close within weeks, Disney had a big year. The company released several blockbusters, including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Incredibles 2,” which each grossed more than $1 billion in worldwide box office sales. Additionally, the company reported record operating results from its parks and resorts segment.
Iger, 67, is poised for an even bigger payday after the 21st Century Fox deal closes. In December, Disney raised the bar for Iger to receive the more than $100 million in stock units he could get after the acquisition.
Disney and Iger agreed to change the terms of his contract to more closely reflect the performance of the combined media company’s share price. The adjustment came after Disney received blowback from shareholders over his compensation in March, when a majority of shareholders voted against Disney’s pay plan.