It’s been more than two months since Disney fired its former CEO Bob Chapek, but the Company still owes him millions.
In a move in February 2020 that shocked Disney fans and rattled Wall Street’s finest, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger announced that he was stepping down from his post, effective immediately. Former chief of Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division, Bob Chapek, would step in and pick up the role of CEO, also effective immediately. And from the very beginning of his tenure, Bob Chapek faced challenge after challenge, rising to some occasions, but faltering miserably in others.
Just weeks after Chapek became CEO of the House of Mouse, he was cast into a completely unprecedented role–that of ship captain tasked with navigating the unknown frontier of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic left the gates of every Disney Park around the globe closed to Guests, with no way of knowing if or when those gates would reopen.
Disney’s theme parks around the world eventually reopened, including the Walt Disney World Resort, which reopened in mid-July 2020, nearly four months after COVID forced its closure. “Normal” seemed like the attainable thing on the horizon.
But it wasn’t long before Chapek found himself a regular contender at the center of controversy within the Disneyverse, no matter the topic. In March 2022, after pressure from those around him, Chapek made a public statement on behalf of Disney, opposing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill. After the bill was signed into law, Chapek again released a statement, this time denouncing Florida’s decision to pass the bill and vowing to align with those who sought to see it repealed.
Only eight months later, following the report of lower-than-expected quarterly earnings at Disney, the board voted to remove Chapek from his post as CEO and bring back Disney veteran Bob Iger for a two-year gig.
Iger’s deal outlines the following: he will reportedly be paid an annual base salary of $1 million with a possible 100% annual bonus. He’ll also “be granted a long-term incentive award having a target value of $25 million” for each fiscal year in the agreement. His term is currently set to end on December 31, 2024, meaning this go around, Iger will be with Disney for just over two years.
Chapek’s payout to cut ties with Disney looked a little more complicated. His earnings from the last fiscal year would have been $17.9 million in cash, $6.5 million for an option acceleration, and a $19.6 million restricted stock unit acceleration, meaning his prize for walking out the door totaled nearly $44 million. Impressive.
But Disney’s not finished paying Chapek, despite his absence from the company for more than two months now–and despite the fact that no one really knows where he is or what he’s doing currently.
According to Variety, Chapek will receive more than $20 million as part of a severance deal. But that isn’t in addition to the aforementioned $44 million. Rather, Chapek has already received approximately $24 million for 2022, and as severance, Disney still owes Chapek another $20 million in severance, as it has yet to be paid.
Variety states that “Chapek’s severance payments, subject to him successfully completing ‘all of the terms of his post-employment consulting agreement,’ will comprise $6.53 million cash in remaining base salary through the scheduled expiration date of his amended employment agreement and about $1 million equivalent to a pro-rated target bonus for fiscal 2023, per a proxy filing. In addition, with his termination, Chapek is eligible to receive accelerated Disney stock worth $12.7 million.”
When all the dust has settled, Chapek will no doubt be “sitting pretty.”