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Disney To Pay Eisner $10.7M for ’97

December 24, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Directors of the Walt Disney Co. fattened Michael Eisner’s annual bonus by $2 million in 1997, boosting the chairman and chief executive’s total salary for the year to $10.65 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The earnings do not include Eisner’s recent exercising of stock options on 7.3 million Disney shares worth $565 million, one of the largest stock option transactions for a chief executive.

Eisner’s bonus rose in 1997 from $7.9 million to $9.9 million, part of a pay package that is tied closely to the company’s performance. In 13 years under Eisner, Disney revenues have grown from $1.7 billion in 1984 to more than $22 billion in fiscal 1997, including net income of nearly $2 billion.

Under his new contract Eisner, 55, has options on another 8 million shares of Disney stock, according to a preliminary proxy statement filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Five million of those shares have an exercise price of $63.31, $34.19 below Tuesday’s closing price of $97.50 per share. Eisner’s base salary remains $750,000 per year under the new contract.

Earlier this month Eisner exercised options granted under his previous contract to buy 7.3 million shares at 1989 prices or above. He sold 5.4 million of the shares, donated 300,000 shares to the Eisner Foundation charity and kept 1.6 million, raising his Disney holdings to 3.6 million shares.

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