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Disney’s Bob Iger to Forego Salary During Coronavirus Pandemic

Bob Iger

While the coronavirus pandemic is hitting small business hard, larger corporations are not immune to its effects. The Walt Disney Company might be a huge conglomerate — and its Disney+ streaming service may be seeing huge gains in subscribers — but big swaths of its business are totally shut down, including its theme parks and cruise line.

As a result, new Disney CEO Bob Chapek wrote a memo to employees indicating that senior executives will be getting temporary pay reductions to help the company weather the crisis. In addition, outgoing CEO and new Disney executive chairman Bob Iger is foregoing his entire salary for the time being.

Saying Disney has been hit “particularly hard” by this crisis, Chapek wrote that

In light of this, we are going to be implementing a variety of necessary measures designed to better position us to weather these extraordinary challenges. Among them, we will be asking our senior executives to help shoulder the burden by taking a reduction in pay – effective April 5, all VPs will have their salaries reduced by 20%, SVPs by 25%, and EVPs and above by 30%. I will be taking a 50% reduction in my salary. This temporary action will remain in effect until we foresee a substantive recovery in our business. Our executive chairman, Bob Iger, has chosen to forgo 100% of his salary.

Don’t feel too bad for Iger; according to Variety, he made somewhere in the neighborhood of $48 million in 2019 alone. So he’ll be okay. (Chapek’s annual salary is reportedly $2.5 million, with the opportunity to make about ten times that in bonuses.) Disney’s theme parks remain closed indefinitely, with the company so far committed to paying its hourly employees only through April 18. Meanwhile, the federal government has already announced social distancing guidelines will remain in effect through at least the end of April.

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