Iger's compensation doubled in '06

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NEW YORK -- After a year of strong financial and stock gains, the Walt Disney Co. awarded president and CEO Robert Iger nearly twice the overall compensation for fiscal year 2006 as in 2005, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Friday. He received a $15 million cash bonus in addition to his $2 million annual salary for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

The filing of the annual proxy statement came on a day when Disney shares hit a new 52-week high of $35.29 in intra-day trading before closing up 0.6% at $35.21.

The document also disclosed that Disney will hold its annual shareholder meeting on March 8 in the Big Easy. "We hope you will join us in supporting the revitalization of New Orleans following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina," Disney said in the proxy.

The SEC filing further showed that Disney board member and Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs holds a 6.7% stake in the Mouse House after the company's acquisition of animation powerhouse Pixar. That makes him the company's largest individual shareholder.

According to the proxy, Iger's 2005 compensation had included a base salary of $1.5 million and a bonus of more than $7.7 million. Other annual compensation for him rose from $511,683 in 2005 to $660,935 last year. In that category, Iger kept his so-called automobile benefit stable at $14,400 last year, somewhat increased his personal air travel to $67,879 and his security to $578,656. He was also awarded options for 411,000 shares, up from 274,241, among other compensation.

Disney's second highest-paid executive in 2006 was chief financial officer Thomas Staggs. His salary rose from $987,500 in 2005 to more than $1.0 million last year, and his bonus nearly doubled from $2.1 million to $4.0 million, among other compensation.

According to Disney's proxy, bonus payments were based on the entertainment conglomerate's performance relative to goals set for operating income, after-tax free cash flow, economic profit and earnings per share.

Iger's current employment contract runs through Sept. 30 of 2010. Staggs' contract expires in March 2008.
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