In 2021, Disneyland came back. And so did cash bonuses for Disney executives.
Bob Chapek’s compensation increased to $32.5 million during his second year as Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive, the company said in a Wednesday regulatory filing, as the Burbank entertainment colossus returned to doling out non-stock bonuses to its top leaders.
Chapek’s pay package for fiscal 2021 more than doubled the nearly $14.2 million he earned during the prior year. Chapek’s compensation last year included a $14.3-million bonus, on top of his salary of $2.5 million, which was up from his $1.81 million base pay in 2020.
The Indiana native was also granted stock awards totaling $10.2 million and options valued at $3.75 million. During the prior year, his stock awards and options came in at $6.13 million and $3.37 million, respectively.
The remainder of Chapek’s 2021 remuneration came from $1.36 million from a change in pension value and deferred earnings and $310,000 in other compensation.
Disney executives did not receive non-equity incentives during fiscal 2020, a decision made during a year in which the company slogged through the COVID-19 pandemic that closed theme parks, movie theaters and cruise lines. Top leaders also took salary cuts during the pandemic.
However, they did receive stock grants and options, which make up a large chunk of executive compensation plans at the company.
During the first year of a public health crisis, Disney furloughed or laid off tens of thousands of employees, with major blows to its theme parks business. Many workers were able to return as parks reopened.
Chapek was named CEO in February 2020, succeeding Bob Iger, who had held the position for 15 years. Iger took on the role of executive chairman and continued to have a major influence at the company, overseeing its creative direction until he left the company at the end of last year.
As Disney’s leader, Chapek is tasked with growing Disney’s top-priority streaming businesses, including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. In the regulatory statement that disclosed executives’ compensation, Disney’s board of directors credited Chapek with growing subscribers for its direct-to-consumer empire and reorganizing the business to increase content production.
As executive chairman, Iger took in more pay than his successor last year, earning $45.9 million in 2021 compared with $21 million for the prior year. He pocketed a salary of $3 million, plus a $22.9-million bonus. Stocks and options were $18.8 million, while other compensation equaled $1.21 million.
The board credited Iger with overseeing successful programming such as “WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” for Disney+ and “Only Murders in the Building” for Hulu.