Abigail Disney called CEO Bob Iger’s $65 million pay ‘insane,’ but it’s only about half what the top CEO made last year

Discovery CEO David Zaslav

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Discovery CEO David Zaslav
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Getty / Scott Olson

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav earned $129 million in 2018 and Disney CEO Bob Iger earned $65 million.
  • Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney cofounder Roy O. Disney, said in a Twitter thread on Sunday, “by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane” in regards to Iger.
  • “Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates of our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince,” Disney wrote.

In 2018, Discovery CEO David Zaslav earned $129 million in 2018 and Disney CEO Bob Iger earned $65 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Other top earners of last year include AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Jefferies Group CEO Richard Handler.

Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney cofounder Roy O. Disney, thinks this magnitude of earnings is “insane.”

In a lengthy Twitter thread on Sunday, Disney described her concerns with Iger’s pay:

“Let me very clear. I like Bob Iger. I do NOT speak for my family but only for myself. Other than owning shares (not that many) I have no more say in what happens there than anyone else. But by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane.

To brush aside criticism of the low wage you pay workers at the company by saying you pay more than the Federal Minimum Wage and that you provide opportunities for education is a dodge. We all know the Federal Minimum is too low to live on. So why must we, at a company that’s more profitable than it’s ever been, be paying anything so close to least the law allows at all??? Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates of our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince.”

(Read Disney’s full thread here.)

Zaslav’s earnings tripled from 2017 to 2018 due to an increase in stock options after he extended his contract through 2023, according to the Journal. His salary remained at $3 million. Iger extended his contract in 2017 through December 2021.

Iger and Stephenson recently guided their companies into industry-shaking mergers, and media continues to be a lucrative sector for CEOs. AT&T bought Time Warner last year for $85 billion. Disney bought Fox last year for $71 billion, and the deal officially last month. Both CEOs are now tasked with overseeing their respective mergers while also launching streaming services (both Disney Plus and WarnerMedia’s streaming service are expected to debut later this year).

Below are the highest-paid CEOs of 2018:


5. Randall Stephenson — AT&T

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Getty Images

2018 salary: $29.12 million


4. Stephen MacMillan — Hologic

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Noam Galai/Getty Images

2018 salary: $42.04 million


3. Richard Handler — Jefferies Group

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Jefferies

2018 salary: $44.67 million


2. Bob Iger — The Walt Disney Company

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

2018 salary: $65.65 million


1. David Zaslav — Discovery, Inc.

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Getty/Drew Angerer

2018 salary: $129 million