Anytime a company begins to lose revenue, the average workers usually suffer the most. The top executives might get let go, but only after they’ve opened their golden parachutes. The Walt Disney Company is no different. While the company was laying off thousands of employees and Disney’s stock was tanking, its top executives were making millions.
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The Wrap reports on the annual salaries of the top executives at the major media companies. The article examined salaries for the CEO of Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Warner Brothers/Discovery, and Comcast using proxy statements filed with the United State Securities and Exchanges Commission. The results are startling, especially given the massive cuts and stock losses at most of these media companies.
The massive salaries of the Walt Disney Company’s two CEOs in 2022 are especially startling given the enormous drop in the company’s stock and the recent layoffs that have hit Disney’s media division, especially at ESPN and ABC.
The announced salaries of Bob Chapek and Bob Iger come at a terrible time for media companies. Disney and other media companies are negotiating with the Writers Guild of America to end the writer’s strike that started on May 2. Earlier this week, the WGA released a proposal that would cost The Disney Company $75 million to increase its writers’ pay. Media companies are also negotiating with the Director Guild of America, whose contract ends in June.
In 2022, Disney’s much-maligned CEO, Bob Chapek, made $24.2 million in total salary. Part of Chapek’s salary included $10.8 million worth of Disney stock. Chapek was fired as CEO in November. It is unclear how much he is still making at Disney. In 2021, Chapek made $32.4 million.
Once Chapek was fired, Disney CEO Bob Iger returned to the company. For his work with Disney, Iger made $15 million in 2022, compared to his $45.9 million salary in 2021.
Under Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Disney’s stock price dropped 43.9 percent in 2022, leading to his firing. Once Bob Iger returned as CEO, he announced that the Walt Disney Company would lay off 7,000 Cast Members, saving the company $5.5 billion. Disney began its layoffs in March and then laid off another 4,000 employees in April, with another round to come.
Despite its massive losses, Netflix compensated its top three executives $129—5 million.
Current Disney CEO Bob Iger is still trying to clean up the mess that Bob Chapek left him. Iger has reorganized the company into three divisions to return to profitability. At the latest earnings call, Iger announced that Disney+ lost more than four million subscribers.
Despite a strong showing from the Disney Parks division, Disney’s stock has lost 10 percent of its value in over a week.