Disney Vote

Walt Disney Annual Meeting: March 8, 2017

One of the earliest annual meetings of the proxy season is at Disney, which held its meeting on March 8. The vote results were released on March 13.  The advisory vote on pay received support from 83.59 of votes cast. This is a low level of support for such a large company and the lowest level of support at Disney since 2014.

Most companies have fiscal year end dates of 12/31, and these companies are about to file their proxy statements. We are on the cusp of what insiders call “proxy season” when filing begin in full force, followed by annual meetings and votes in April and May. Votes are typically released about a week after the meeting.

Disney’s CEO and Chairman Robert Iger has been listed in our Overpaid CEOs report for the past three years. His most recent total compensation was $43.9 million. This was a slight decrease from the prior year, based on his bonus, but it still left him as one of the highest paid CEOs in the world. In 2016, Disney’s shares were down 0.8% for 2016, the first such annual decline since 2011 according to press reports.

As reported by Fund Votes the advisory vote on pay proposal at Disney received 80.6% support in 2014; 84.2% support in 2015 and 85.1% support in 2016. The median level of support for such a proposal among S&P 500 companies was well over 95% last year.

In this context the support from 83.59 of votes cast shows that shareholders are not pleased. Also, of note, the director who received the 2nd lowest levels of support was compensation committee chair Susan E. Arnold.

The company that asks attendees of its theme park to “put our service to the test,” doesn’t seem to be listening very well to its shareholders.