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Opinion

Readers React: One word explains the $65-million pay package for Disney’s CEO: greed

Walt Disney Chairman And CEO Bob Iger Rings Opening Bell At NY Stock Exchange
Disney CEO Robert Iger stands next to someone dressed as Mickey Mouse before ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 27, 2017.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

To the editor: The $65-million compensation package for Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger may be extreme, but it fits a pattern in which Fortune 500 CEO pay has increased from about 30 times the median worker wage in the 1970s to 300 times or more today.

In effect, these CEOs are telling their employees that they have lost 90% of their value to their companies relative to top corporate officers over the decades. But of course this can’t be true.

No matter how they try to rationalize it, the explanation lies in a single word: greed.

Alan B. Posner, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Disney is a greedy company under the leadership of Iger and previous CEOs, and this shows especially at the company’s resort in Anaheim. That was not the case during founder Walt Disney’s days.

In 1996, the city of Anaheim agreed to build a massive parking structure for Disneyland’s guests. To rent this facility, Disney pays Anaheim $1 per year, and yet it charges customers $20 to park there. When the city finishes paying off the bonds it sold to finance construction, it will transfer ownership to Disney, as reported by the L.A. Times.

This year, Disneyland started paying a minimum hourly wage of $15, which is good news, but it is due to the tight employment market and political pressure more than generosity. Plus, how many of these hourly workers are full-time employees with benefits?

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Over the years, Disney is estimated to have received more than $1 billion in subsidies from the city of Anaheim, even though it reaps huge profits from its theme parks and raises the price of admission to whatever the market will bear.

Dan Goldmann, Costa Mesa

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