Disney Tells SEC That Bob Iger Earns His Millions

Disney reacts to Institutional Shareholder Services’ criticism of CEO Iger's compensation by citing record earnings last year

The Walt Disney Company jumped to CEO Bob Iger's defense Thursday, telling the Securities and Exchange Commission that Iger deserves his paycheck, no matter what corporate-governance group Institutional Shareholder Services says.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Disney dismissed the ISS's report that Iger was over-compensated for his duties, saying the group's findings "are based on both flawed premises and methodology."

Disney went on to tell the SEC that the company's Board of Directors "adheres to a rigorous performance test for compensation," and that, under Iger's stewardship, the company "had record financial performance in Fiscal Year 2011."

According to Disney's filing, a $100 investment made in the company in Oct. 2005 — when Iger was installed as CEO — would be worth $171 at the end of 2011.

By comparison, according to Disney, a $100 investment made in the S&P 500 index in 2005 would have been worth only $117 at the end of the year. During the same period, Disney said, a $100 investment in CBS, News Corporation, Time Warner or Comcast would have grown to "no more than" $136.

Iger reportedly raked in a total compensation of $29.6 million in 2009 once bonuses were factored in — a 25 percent increase over the previous year.

Nice work if you can get it.

As part of a succession plan that will see Iger become chairman of the board this month and step down from his CEO duties in March 2015, Iger's base pay was bumped up from $2 million to $2.5 million annually.