Disney chairman Bob Iger to forgo his salary to help company during coronavirus pandemic

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FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, Disney CEO Robert Iger arrives at the world premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”, in Los Angeles The Walt Disney Co. has named Bob Chapek CEO, replacing Bob Iger, effective immediately, the company announced Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, FIle)

Earlier this month, cities around America started shutting down, businesses went dark, and people started getting laid off. If anyone hadn’t recognized the growing severity of the coronavirus outbreak at that point, the closure of Disney theme parks on March 12 was likely the sign that convinced them. On Monday, The Walt Disney Company had an update for its employees — many of whom are currently unable to go to work. Executive chairman Bob Iger will forgo his entire salary until things get better, the company announced.

CEO Bob Chapek, who recently took over that job from Iger, will take a 50% cut of his base salary, and other executives will see smaller temporary pay reductions. Chapek’s email to employees about their decision has been obtained by several media outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times.

A screenshot of the companywide email, taken by New York Times entertainment reporter Brook Barnes, shows that VPs will have their salaries reduced 20%, senior VPs will see a 25% reduction and executive VPs a 30% reduction. The cuts go into effect April 5 and will continue “until we see a substantive recovery of our business,” the message said.

Hourly workers at Disney’s theme parks and hotels will continue to be paid until April 18, the company said.

Iger also donated $500,000 to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s coronavirus response fund, the mayor shared during a press briefing on Sunday.

While the Disney internal email states that Iger will give up his full salary, that is actually a relatively small part of his overall pay package. According to Forbes, as Disney’s chairman and CEO, Iger earned $3 million in salary, a $21.8 million bonus, $10 million in stock awards and $9.6 million in stock options — a total of $47.5 million for 2019.

In February, Iger stepped down as the company’s CEO and Bob Chapek was named as his replacement.

Chapek, who was most recently chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products business, has a base salary of $2.5 million, according to Forbes. Chapek also has a target bonus of $7.5 million and an annual long-term incentive grant of $15 million, Forbes reports.

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