Disney Cuts Iger Awards for Fox Deal by $13.5M

The Walt Disney Co. said it has amended chairman and CEO Bob Iger’s compensation agreement, shaving about $13.5 million from potential awards he was eligible to receive after the company’s $71.3 billion purchase of certain 21st Century Fox assets is completed.

Disney agreed to purchase the Fox assets — including cable channels FX, FXX and National Geographic; its movie studios and other assets — last year after a month-long battle with Comcast for the properties. That deal is expected to close in the first half of the year. 

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Disney didn’t say why it amended Iger’s agreement in the filing, but its action comes on the heels of a decision made in November to change some stock awards the executive was due to receive after the Fox closing. Those changes were made after Disney shareholders voiced some concern with the size of the award Iger was to receive — $100 million. Under those changes, Iger, who had already been granted $25 million of that award, would get the rest only if Disney’s total shareholder return outperformed 65% of the companies in the S&P 500 index. The earlier deal required that Disney outperform 50% of those companies. 

According to an 8-K document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 4, Disney eliminated an annual base salary increase for Iger of $500,000 on the transaction closing date, instead maintaining his current base salary at $3 million. In addition, the new deal eliminates an $8 million increase in Iger’s target bonus opportunity, instead keeping the old target of $12 million; and reduced by $5 million an annual long-term incentive target award that would have been available after the close to $20 million.

Disney is scheduled to hold its annual meeting of shareholders on March 7.