Robert A. Iger has been the CEO of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) since 2005. Over that period, Disney’s cable, TV and film businesses have changed the face of the company, and shareholders have been richly rewarded. Iger was rewarded as well last year. His pay package reached $65.6 million. It will make him one of the highest paid CEOs in America for 2018, if CEO compensation for large public companies in the past is any indication.
Iger has been an M&A machine, buttressing Disney’s core businesses. He bought Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Marvel for $4.0 billion in 2009 and Lucasfilm for $4.1 billion in 2012. His latest deal will completely transform Disney and sharply increase its size. He engineered the buyout of most of 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion, which will make Disney even a greater force in film and cable. He also has changed the way Disney approaches media distribution. He will move much of Disney’s video to a platform that will compete with Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). Disney will take most of its sports and entertainment off Netflix and run them through the new service.
In Disney’s most recent fiscal year, which ended September 29, its revenue rose 8% year over year to $59.4 billion. The bottom line rose 40% to $12.6 billion. Iger said at the time:
We’re very pleased with our financial performance in fiscal 2018, delivering record revenue, net income and earnings per share. We remain focused on the successful completion and integration of our 21st Century Fox acquisition and the further development of our direct-to-consumer business, including the highly anticipated launch of our Disney-branded streaming service late next year.
They were big numbers, and he was paid well to produce them.