Former Disney CEO Bob Iger has agreed to forego drawing a salary until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic passes, while his newly inaugurated successor, Bob Chapek, will voluntarily half his paychecks.
The cuts come as Disney, along with an array of other companies and organizations, are taking increasingly sweeping steps to trim expenses and maintain profitability amid the coronavirus crisis. During the previous fiscal year, Disney recorded record-breaking earnings and paid Iger a whopping $47.5 million. Yesterday, it was reported that the 69-year-old donated $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles; the city will use the funds to support seniors, healthcare workers, and others who are struggling because of COVID-19.
Additionally, Iger and Chapek’s salary reductions are being accompanied by across-the-board corporate pay cuts. Starting on Sunday, April 5th, all vice presidents’ earnings will decrease by a fifth, senior vice presidents’ earnings’ will be scaled back by 25 percent, and executive vice presidents will see their checks drop by 30 percent.
CEO Chapek addressed the cutbacks and the COVID-19 pandemic’s trying effect on his company in an email. The 27-year Disney veteran wrote: “The pandemic is also having a devastating impact on the global and U.S. economies, and it’s hitting businesses like ours particularly hard…we’ve experienced widespread disruption across our company, with our domestic parks and hotels closed indefinitely, our cruise line suspended, our film and TV production halted and theatrical distribution delayed.”
Having surpassed $140 in late February, Disney’s per-share stock price is currently hovering at around $100. As news of the company-wide pay drops circulated, the stock, traded under the symbol DIS, experienced an uptick, from approximately $93 per share to the mentioned value.
Corporate Disney employees are currently working from home, and Disney theme parks, though originally slated to remain closed through March’s end, will remain shuttered indefinitely.
Disney has indicated that it will continue paying cast members through April 18th, and it’s unclear at this time if these individuals will receive any financial assistance from the entertainment giant after that date.