Disney’s Iger : a bargain at $27 million?
Disney shareholders, normally a sunny bunch whose concerns run toward getting more park perks and a DVD release date for the 1946 film “Song of the South,” showed a darker side on Thursday at the company’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Among the usual questions about new rides, dividends — and yes, the loved and hated “Song of the South” — were unusually pointed observations about the size of CEO Bob Iger’s pay package.
An Albuquerque teacher drew a smattering of applause from fellow shareholders when he told Disney execs he was “troubled” by Iger’s $27.7 million compensation package in fiscal 2007.
“More should be going back to investors who are taking the risks,” Pard said. “Twenty-seven million is a lot to pay someone for one year.”
While effusively praising Iger and Disney, a female shareholder agreed with the teacher and suggested the Mouse House lead the way in bringing down executive salaries.
“Can’t you make it on $20 million a year?” she asked Iger. “That gentleman is a schoolteacher and he makes in a year what you make in three hours. It’s just getting too excessive.”
But a Clovis, New Mexico shareholder came to Iger’s defense: “I would like to say that Mr. Iger is entitled to every damn penny that he makes.”
Iger let Chairman John Pepper defend him in the salary talks, and later could not be reached to comment on the shareholders’ pay cutting scheme.
Oh, and don’t hold your breath on seeing a DVD release date soon for “Song of the South”, whose portrayal of slavery Disney fears may be offensive to modern audiences. Iger again told shareholders the issue is “complicated” and Disney was still considering it.