Iger forgoes salary and Chapek takes pay cut as Disney wrestles with COVID-19
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Iger forgoes salary and Chapek takes pay cut as Disney wrestles with COVID-19

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Disney's executive chair Bob Iger will forgo his salary for the year, with the company's new CEO Bob Chapek also taking a 50 per cent pay cut.

Starting 5 April, Disney has also cut wages by 20 per cent for all VP level executives, while senior VPs will recieve a 25 per cent pay cuts and all executive VPs and above will see a 30 per cent cut.

The sizeable pay cuts among Disney's senior executives account for millions of dollars, with Chapek's new pay packet worth US$2.5m (€2.3m, £2m), with a further US$22.5m (€20.5m, £18.2m) in bonuses. In 2019, Iger's annual compensation totalled US$48m (€43.6m, £38.9m).

All of Disneys theme parks and resorts in the US and Europe remain closed, with limited operations in mainland China, with the operator continuing to pay its hourly parks employees through at least April 18. Beyond that, the company has experienced widespread disruption, with its cruise line suspended, its film and TV production division halted and theatrical distribution delayed both domestically and internationally, as well as its retail stores closed down.

"Our world is facing an unprecedented crisis that has fundamentally upended our lives, creating uncertainty and hardship – while, at the same time, spurring kindness and compassion. And although there are still many unknowns with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, our top priority remains your safety and well-being," said Chapek in a letter to Disney employees.

"This is a trying period for all of us and as we navigate these challenging times together and make adjustments in our daily lives, we’re grateful for everyone’s continued flexibility and understanding.

"The pandemic is also having a devastating impact on the global and US economies, and it’s hitting businesses like ours particularly hard. In a matter of weeks, we’ve experienced widespread disruption across our company

"While I'm confident we will get through this challenging period together and emerge even stronger, we must take necessary steps to manage the short- and long-term financial impact on our company.

"In light of this, we're going to be implementing a variety of necessary measures designed to better position us to weather these extraordinary challenges. Among them, we will be asking our senior executives to help shoulder the burden by taking a reduction in pay. This temporary action will remain in effect until we foresee a substantive recovery in our business. Our executive chair, Bob Iger, has chosen to forgo 100 per cent of his salary.

"As we navigate through these uncharted waters, we’re asking much of you and, as always, you are rising to the challenge and we appreciate your support. Your dedication and resilience during this difficult time are truly inspiring, and it gives me renewed confidence that we will come through this crisis even stronger than before, as we have so many times in our company’s history."

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