Disney CEO Bob Iger Needs Our Help to Get His $60 Million Bonus

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse. (Photo via Shutterstock.)

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse. (Photo via Shutterstock.)

Last week Bob Iger said that he had signed a two-year contract extension that will allow him to remain as CEO and chairman of the Walt Disney Company until June 2018. It is the third time that he has extended his tenure as chairman. “This time I really mean it,” Iger told the Wall Street Journal.

The frontrunners within the company to take over Iger’s spot are chief financial officer Jay Rasulo and parks-and-resorts chairman Thomas Staggs. They’ve both been considered for the position since at least 2011. “The only thing that changes is the timetables when the next person would become CEO,” Iger says. “But it doesn’t mean we won’t promote someone to a position that would give them more experience and give the board a chance to evaluate them at a higher level. That could happen along the same timing it was going to.”

Staying aboard will allow Iger to follow through on two of his major projects: the late-2015 opening of a new Disney theme park in Shanghai and the first Disney-produced Star Wars movie. It will also allow him to continue making insane amounts of money, like the more than $34 million he made in 2013.

On top of his regular salary and bonuses, the LA Times reports that there’s a clause baked into Iger’s new contract that allows him to earn a $60 million bonus in 2018 if Disney meets a cumulative operating income of $76.01 billion over a five-year period ending in 2018. For comparison, between 2009 and 2013, Disney produced $43.77 billion in operating income.

Remember this the next time you buy a churro at Disneyland: you’re not just buying another piece of greasy sugar-coated fried dough, but you’re helping one man fulfill his dream of making an extra $60 million on top of the hundreds of millions that he’s already made at Disney.

Good luck, Bob. We’re all rooting for you!


  • Martin

    Insane amount of money

  • Honest_Miss

    Some people don’t like people with money. Apparently other people have a deep, festering, *bitter* disgust for them. For no reason other than they have a lot of money.

    There’s really no reason at all for this post, other than “I’m bitter about people with money and really need everyone to know it.”

    • MaskedManAICN

      I think it has to do with how poorly Disney has been know to treat it employees- like artists who get laid off so quickly their heads spin. Disney says it just doesn’t have the money to pay them anymore, but still manages to find millions of dollars in bonus to reward the person who fired them all.

    • bob

      For me it’s about the distribution of money throughout a company- a company which produces a very high grossing product. Yet, from the top down reasons are explained to employees why they won’t make a decent salary given the success of the product they help to make. These reasons for mediocre salary are basically lies. The truth is the money is there, and everyone in the company could live better if those at the top where half as greedy as they are.

    • sabretruthtiger

      We’re bitter about people that are massively overpaid for what they do. If a Brain surgeon, a top scientist or extremely talented artist or musician has lots of money that’s fine, you know, people that contribute to society instead of taking. Someone that merely manages a company, in other words a ‘good organiser’ doesn’t deserve that much money.

      • BurntToShreds

        “Good Organizer” is an oversimplification. Working in concert with many other people to ensure the day-to-day and long-term profitability of such a massive company is not an easy task. I think that he doesn’t deserve to be paid such exorbitant amounts of money as part of a bonus, but he’s not just slacking around all day in his office.

        • Chris

          True. He’s slacking around all day on a golf course.

      • Casey Billadeau

        Do you even realize how much he has on his plate? He’s running Disney, owner of some of the biggest animation and CGI companies in history, countless themeparks, trademarks, TV shows, sub-companies, etc. It’s easy to sit behind a computer and know your job is hard, but his job is no walk through the park. For all we know, it could be much, MUCH worse. He has to constantly not just make money, but make more money for a company that has a foothold in every sector of the market. That’s why he’s worth the kinda money we’re talking about here (though in retrospect $60 m is a bit much as a bonus.)

        • slowtiger

          Awww, poor baby. So he’s got the job to “make” money (means transferring it from someone else’s pockets into his). And what happens if he fails? Does he have to pay back those millions? I give you a tip: not a single cent of them. The worst possible thing happening to him would be to get fired, after which he will continue to sit quite comfortably on all those millions of money he already grabbed.

          Compare this to all those people who don’t earn enough to eat while working their ass of in multiple jobs.

          • KnickKnackMyWack

            Not that I disagree, but I think you and Amidi and basically everyone crapping Iger right now are oversimplifying his function as a CEO. I’m not trying to defend him or put him on a pedestal, but a CEO doesn’t just sit there with a cigar in his mouth shoveling his cash (although that’s an easy picture to paint of him for the average joe).

          • Barrett

            A good CEO, one who is really engaged every moment of their waking life trying to make their business a success, certainly deserves to make more than the guy taking out the trash or even a top-level animator. If they are good at their job and the company is huge and complex, they are basically living what would be a byzantine nightmare for most of us. The stakes are high, but then so are the rewards.

            That said, what many of these top-level CEOs earn is way out of proportion to what they really deserve, even taking into account how hard they work and how much of their lives with their families they sacrifice (to say nothing of how badly overpaid the lesser CEOs who just putz around are!) Let’s say a top-tier animator makes $120K-$150K per year (which is probably pretty unrealistic even for Disney.) Let’s say the CEO works 100 times as hard as that animator (which is pretty much a physical and mental impossibility.) 100X $150K per year is 15 million bucks. And $15 mil a year is definitely on the low side for a lot of CEOs these days. Just something to consider when defending the pay rates top guys (and they are almost all guys) make these days.

    • pointing_out_ignorance

      So, across the board wage fixing that is being investigated by the Feds doesn’t seem to make you realize the game that is being played here? Good job.

      • Honest_Miss

        I do, but this article is about *none of that at all*

        It doesn’t discuss wage fixing, it doesn’t discuss potential alternatives for that money, it doesn’t discuss the potential for growth.

        No. It’s just “Iger makes a lot of money.”

    • grainy

      Get real. At 150,000 Disney employees (wikipedia), the 60 million would divide into a $4,000 per employee bonus… math giving many of them a reason to celebrate. Or at least relax for a week.

    • DangerMaus

      There is a difference between a person with money and a person with money who expects to be well compensated while the company he runs is engaging in practices to limit the financial well being of the employees that work for him. One is rich and the other is a rich scumbag.

    • Steve Jacobs

      Well, what’s the problem in being bitter, sir?

    • Black Box

      The problem with it is not that this guy is getting this much money but rather that their artists don’t get much money at all. The major reason Don Rosa stopped drawing for Disney was Disney itself.

  • http://skunkandburningtires.com/ Ju-osh M.

    I…
    grrr….

  • Marie

    I always appreciate posts like these that call attention to the ridiculous discrepancy between corporate pay for the top guy versus that of the people whose labor actually creates the product of value. It’s like Walmart not being able to (well, not wanting to) afford health care for all of its employees. Iger’s contractual clause, combined with the recent revelations about salary-fixing in the industry, is more than enough evidence that the current American business situation is gamed and purposely stacked against the average worker.

  • Ira Owens

    I’ll give Bob the benefit of the doubt, does anyone know anything about charities he’s involved in?

    • FM Hansen

      It’s not about him as a person per say. It’s about the huge discrepancy between the top person at the company and the bottom. This gap has been growing in the U.S. (and elsewhere) exponentially since the 1980’s, and while I’m all for capitalism and making your own destiny as an individual, this insane lopsidedness in salaries actually does have an effect on the rest of the salaries in the U.S. plus outsourcing, and the overall ‘race to the bottom’ tactics employed by companies and manufactures from Apple, to Walmart, to Disney. I don’t blame Bob personally, I blame the morons who would issue such huge pay out to ONE PERSON rather than a clause that distributes the spoils out to the others people at the company who ALSO helped to get the operating income up so high. Bob does not make Disney profitable on his own in a vacuum.

      • Ant G

        Agreed, but how do we know employees of respective successful projects are not getting bonuses as well?

  • ReindeerFlotilla

    For the adults on the board:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=DIS+Interactive#symbol=DIS;range=5y
    Disney stock has gone up by a factor of 3 since Oct 2011. That’s a heck of a lot of little old ladies and union retirement funds made happy by Mr. Evil Moneygrubber.

  • kapamikey

    Yeah thats cool and all but whiat is the alternative?

  • Dinosaur Tony

    So… compared to the billions figure… yeah, fair play to him.

  • Ant G

    Bob has done great as a chairman and why fix what isn’t broken? Under him acquisitions of Marvel and LucasArts happened, Frozen happened, etc. as a business man he’s done a great job and it seems to me he loves his job and isn’t in it just for the title and pay.

    Bashing him for the money he’d make is unnessecary since it would be under his direction that profit ceiling might be reached, and they are counting on him as an individual capable of this, not as his job titles him to, like most employees who are reduced to being replaceable meat machines. The math is kind of simple folks, make yourself irreplaceable if you want to get payed more/stay longer within a company.

    • Landon Kemp

      I don’t think he’s done that great as a chairman. Not only are his decisions and his acquisitions highly questionable (No one in their right mind would connect “Disney” with “Star Wars”), and while Frozen might have been successful, success does not equal quality, and in my opinion, Frozen is pretty darn weak for a Disney film. But that’s just me going off my opinion. I don’t know how he’s doing business wise, nor do I care, because it’s something that doesn’t interest me.

    • DangerMaus

      Like Iger being the CEO of Disney has or had anything to do with the “lightning-in-the-bottle” success of “Frozen”. He just happened to be CEO when a fluke set of circumstances led to a rather average film striking platinum. Nothing he said or did had any effect on the success or failure of “Frozen”.

      The DISNEY brand on a mediocre film has more to do with its success than any overpaid, overblown, overvalued CEO. Masterpieces like “The Fantastic Mr Fox” flop at the box office while by-the-numbers Disney formula wildly succeeds. Then everyone complains about how North American animation is stuck in a rut.

      • Rhonda Reason

        Actually, Iger did have something to do with “Frozen:” mending the fences with Pixar that Eisner burned down. If you read Catmull’s book, you will see how bringing in Pixar management was able to sweep out the second-guessing non-creatives who tied the hands of the animation staff.

        Eisner was paid more than a hundred million many times as a bonus — even after Wells died and the company began to slide. Eisner also hired his buddy Ovitz, who did such a poor job he had to be let go — with over 100 million as a thank you.

        I’ve never heard Iger say “2-D animation is dead,” or “I think I hate the little midget.” He didn’t hire an executive because they sold him a couch. And though I may be wrong, he didn’t put people like his kids’ teacher (or principal) on the board to stack it in his favor.

        Sitcom actors, late night talk show hosts, sports stars, supermodels, movie stars — they all make millions, because there is a monetary value attached to what they bring to the table. The amounts are outrageous, but when they are the going rates — and the talent could easily make it somewhere else — they are quantifiably worth it.

        I also get the impression that Iger, unlike many decision makers, actually listens.

        And by the way, wasn’t Cartoon Brew the site Iger was reading on the treadmill when he learned about Oswald the Rabbit and then brokered the deal to get him back?

    • https://vimeo.com/channels/wharton Brett Wharton

      Completely agree… I think Iger deserves more respect from the animation community.

      He put the right managers in place to make Frozen possible, and to bring new creativity to the Disney parks. Whether or not you think Frozen is among Disney’s best ever animated films, there’s no question it has brought a lot of joy to moviegoers, while staying true to Disney’s brand and heritage. Personally, I’m glad I can look forward to a new, high-quality, original Disney movie each year, a new Star Wars movie, and potentially a new Indiana Jones.

      $60 million is a lot of money, but he has created a tremendous amount of value for shareholders and Disney fans… Sorry, that’s just how CEOs are compensated in our market system.

  • Mister Twister

    Once again, Amid managed to write a controversial article by writing a regular article based on nothing but truth.

    • KnickKnackMyWack

      No where in the article did I actually read anything about Iger asking us to help him get a $60 million bonus. Granted, I get the article is tongue-in-cheek, but it’s pretty obvious that there is a bias in the article’s rhetoric. So it’s not exactly just all objective facts when it is presented in a subjective manner.

  • AnimationMagician

    Well don’t you think it’s silly to get paid to criticize people… This isn’t TMZ it’s a site about animation can’t you just focus on that?

  • Pedro Nakama

    This is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of all those who just got laid off after Big Hero Six.

  • Alexandria Lynn

    To all of the Bob-bashers out there, at least he’s not Jeffery Katzenberg!

  • Matthew

    I wouldn’t begrudge him a dime of his salary if cast members got paid enough to actually afford a trip to a Disney park, animators’ wages weren’t fixed artificially, and their Blu-ray discs weren’t of such inconsistent and sometimes suspect quality.

    And as for “Frozen,” why not credit the people who actually made the film for its success?