UPDATE, 2:02 PM: Disney CEO Bob Iger has a good reason to cheer for a strong economy over the next four years. He could receive as much as $60M if the company generates a cumulative adjusted operating income of at least $78.314B by mid 2018, when his contract extension ends, according to an SEC filing today. He’d make less if Disney fails to hit that target, beginning with $10M if the operating income figure just hits $76.389B. He won’t get the Growth Incentive Retention Bonus — which comes on top of his current salary and bonuses — if someone takes over Disney before mid 2016. But he could if there’s a change in control after that.
PREVIOUS, Thursday PM: The entertainment giant just added two years to the contract, keeping Bob Iger as Chairman and CEO through June 30, 2018. “By setting a clear business strategy based on producing high-quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion — and then over-delivering against that strategy — Mr. Iger has repeatedly proven himself to be a highly effective leader able to create long-term shareholder value,” the board’s Independent Lead Director Orin C. Smith says. “Since he became CEO in 2005, total shareholder return has increased to 311%, compared to just 92% for the S&P 500, and Disney’s market capitalization has risen to $150 billion from $48.4 billion.”
Compensation terms will be unchanged but give him the opportunity to earn a performance-based retention bonus if the company meets financial performance goals over a five-year period ending with fiscal year 2018. His package came to $34.3M in the fiscal year that ended in September 2013. More details will be released in an SEC filing tomorrow.
The contract extension raises questions about how much progress Disney has made on its succession plan. CFO Jay Rasulo and parks chief Thomas Staggs are widely believed to be the leading contenders. Iger had said in 2011 that he planned to step down as CEO in mid 2015 and remain chairman until mid-2016. Last year the board said he could keep both titles until the end. That angered many investors who believed that Iger wielded too much power. The company defused a showdown at the annual meeting in March by agreeing to change its Corporate Governance Guidelines so that, in the future, the chairman will be an independent director unless the board decides it would be best to give one person both jobs. If it does, the directors have to justify it in writing every year and designate an independent board member to be the Lead Director.