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Jan. 21, 2022, 7:53 a.m. EST

Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s 2021 compensation more than doubled to over $32 million, while median employee pay fell

By Tomi Kilgore

Walt Disney Inc. Chief Executive Bob Chapek had a banner 2021, as his total compensation more than doubled to over $32 million, even though it was a pretty bad year for investors in the media and entertainment giant.

In Disney’s proxy statement for fiscal 2021, which ended September, the company disclosed late Wednesday that Chapek’s total compensation for the year was $32.46 million, compared with $14.16 million in 2020. Chapek became Disney’s CEO on Feb. 24, 2020, after Robert Iger abruptly stepped down .

The pay increase included a 38% rise in salary to $2.50 million, and $14.33 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation after zero in 2020.

In addition, the value of stock awards increased 67% to $10.22 million and the value of option awards rose 11% to $3.75 million, while change in pension value and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings was reduced by half to $1.36 million.

All other compensation rose 121% to $310,310, which included $228,294 in air travel costs for flights that were “purely personal in nature.”

The increase in Chapek’s compensation comes as Disney’s stock (NYS:DIS) dropped 14.5% in 2021, while the SPDR Communication Services Select Sector exchange-traded fund (PSE:XLC) rose 15.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) rallied 18.7%.

So far this year, Disney’s stock is down 4.7% while the Dow has dropped 4.5%.

While Chapek’s pay increased, the median employee’s total annual compensation fell 1.3% to $50,430 in fiscal 2021 from $51,073 in 2020, meaning the CEO pay ratio rose to 644-to-1 from 293-to-1. The 2020 ratio reflected an annualization of Chapek’s compensation as CEO.

The company said the “median Disney employee” works in a full-time hourly role in parks and has been with the company for over 10 years. Meanwhile, Disney’s workforce fell to approximately 190,000 in fiscal 2021, of which about 80% (about 152,00) were full time, from 203,000 in 2020, of which 80% (about 162,400) were full time.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.