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File reveals impressive amount former Disney executive earned during his brief tenure

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A preliminary proxy statement filed Tuesday by The Walt Disney Company revealed the massive amount of money former director of corporate affairs Geoff Morrell earned in connection with his time at the entertainment giant.

Morrell’s tenure as director of corporate affairs lasted less than four months. He began work in January 2022, about a month and a half after Disney said it had hired him, and announced his departure in late April.

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He told his team at Disney at the time that “it became clear” to him that “for a number of reasons” the role “wasn’t right for me” and he “decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities” after speaking with then CEO Bob Chapek, according to an email obtained by FOX Business.

Geoff Morrell in a suit and tie in an office building

Geoff Morrell, senior vice president of communications and external affairs for BP in the United States, is pictured in the company’s downtown office. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

The preliminary proxy statement Disney filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlined the details of Morrell’s pay package of more than $8.365 million for fiscal 2022, including a salary of $489,500, a signing bonus of $2 .75 million, stock awards, option awards and other compensation. The signing bonus, Disney said, was “primarily to replace lost compensation from his previous employer”, oil giant BP.

He received $500,000 to “accommodate the cost incurred by Mr. Morrell in connection with his family’s international relocation” for joining Disney, according to the lawsuit. The company also gave him $500,000 in June 2022 to “consider his unique circumstances, including the costs expended by Mr. Morrell, who was in the process of relocating his family internationally.”

ticker Safety Last Change Change %
DIS WALT DISNEY CO. 99.05 -0.85 -0.85%

His compensation equaled about $119,500 for each of the 70 days a week he worked at Disney. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on his compensation.

A Disney insider told the Wall Street Journal that because some performance-based payments weren’t vested, the “realized value” of Morrell’s 2022 tax compensation is expected to be about $2 million less.

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Attendees are reflected in the Disney+ logo during the Walt Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on September 9, 2022. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The SEC filing said Morrell would be entitled to more than $2.5 million in salary remaining through the end of his original employment contract, $1.5 million equivalent of a goal bonus and a purchase of the home he purchased. in California if he “successfully completes all terms of his post-employment consulting agreement and general release.”

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A “third-party vendor” purchased that home on Disney’s behalf in the summer of 2022 for its original purchase price, according to the preliminary proxy statement. As of last October, the property had not sold, but Disney “will realize any gains or losses” associated with it when it does, not Morrell, he said.

The preliminary proxy statement also provided information about compensation for other Disney executives in fiscal 2022, such as Chapek and CEO Bob Iger.

Iger returned to Disney to become CEO for two years in November, having previously held the title from 2005 to 2020 and served as executive chairman until 2021. Chapek had run the company since February 2020, shortly before the pandemic triggered nationwide lockdowns. world.

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The newly painted Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen with the crest to celebrate the theme park’s 50th anniversary Monday, August 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Disney Is Fighting a Move to Repeal (AP Photo/John Raoux, Archive/AP Newsroom)

The Chapek-led company faced a period of political turmoil in early 2022, including in connection with a Florida state law barring the teaching of sexual orientation in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

Disney’s preliminary filing on Tuesday comes amid a proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz and the Trian Group. Peltz is seeking a seat on the company’s board.

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Shares in the entertainment giant were trading at around $99 on Wednesday, up about 11% from the start of 2023 and down about 34% from last year.

Disney did not respond to a question from FOX Business by the time of publication. Morrell declined to comment.

Adam Sabes contributed to this report.

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