Disney heir, Abigail Disney, lashed out at Disney’s obscene executive compensation in yesterday’s Washington Post.
“[CEO Bob] Iger took home more than $65 million in 2018. That’s 1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker. To put that gap in context, in 1978, the average CEO made about 30 times a typical worker’s salary. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 937 percent, while the pay of an average worker grew just 11.2 percent . . .
In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus. But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85 percent of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality . . .
There are just over 200,000 employees at Disney. If management wants to improve life for just the bottom 10 percent of its workers, Disney could probably set aside just half of its executive bonus pool, and it would likely have twice as much as it would need to give that bottom decile a $2,000 bonus. Besides, at the pay levels we are talking about, an executive giving up half his bonus has zero effect on his quality of life. For the people at the bottom, it could mean a ticket out of poverty or debt. It could offer access to decent health care or an education for a child.
Here is my suggestion to the Walt Disney Co. leadership. Lead. If any of this rings any moral bells for you, know that you are uniquely situated to model a different way of doing business. Reward all of your workers fairly. Don’t turn away when they tell you they are unable to make ends meet. You do not exist merely for the benefit of shareholders and managers. Reward all the people who make you successful, help rebuild the American middle class and respect the dignity of the men and women who work just as hard as you do to make Disney the amazing company it is.”
It’s great – and important – to see people like Abigail Disney speak out against income inequality and runaway corporate greed.
For the full piece by Abigail, visit the Washington Post here.