Disney general affairs manager Geoff Morrell worked at the company for about three months. During his time there last year, he received $8.37 million in total compensation, according to filings. Disney has faced intense criticism for its slow response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Something is loading.
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A Disney executive who left the company after just over three months was awarded total compensation of $8.37 million, or nearly $120,000 a day, for the 70 weekdays he spent in the business.
Geoff Morrell, who had served as the company’s director of general affairs, joined Disney on January 24, 2022 and left at the end of April.
While at the company, Morrell received a salary of $489,500, according to Disney’s proxy statement released Tuesday. He also received a cash signing bonus of $2.75 million, $2.9 million in stock and $1.2 million in options.
Morrell received an additional $1 million in other compensation, including $527,500 in relocation costs as he moved his family from the UK to the US for the role and $500,000 paid in June “to account for its unique situation”.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Morrell’s compensation.
Disney botched its response to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law
Morrell’s role at the company, under the leadership of CEO Bob Chapek, who has since been ousted, has focused on leading Disney’s government affairs and corporate communications. Morrell, a Disney outsider, had previously worked at BP, the Pentagon and ABC News.
But during Morrell’s tenure, the company faced intense criticism over its response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Disney was slow to react to the bill despite growing pressure to speak out against it, angering the public and its staff, although Chapek finally spoke out against it in early March.
This fueled a battle between Disney and Governor Ron DeSantis, which led to the Florida Legislature voting to strip Disney of the special tax status it had enjoyed since 1967. DeSantis signed the bill repealing the status on April 22. .
A week later, Morrell said he was “resigning from the company to pursue other opportunities.” His role at Disney was “not the right fit for me and not the right decision for my family,” he said at the time.
However, in a copy of Morrell’s general statement from the company, Disney said it exercised its termination right in late April. He said in Tuesday’s filing that the company made a “unilateral decision” to release him from the company, and he signed his blanket release in late June.
In addition to his compensation in 2022, Morrell is eligible for millions more in severance from the company.
Disney said in Tuesday’s filing that Morrell was entitled to $2.5 million in base salary remaining until the end of his contract in December 2024, and a payout of $1.5 million. equivalent to a target bonus for fiscal year 2022, so long as he meets the terms of his post-employment advisory agreement and general release.
Disney said Morrell was also entitled to a buyout of the home he bought in Pasadena, Southern California, after taking the job with a $1.36 million down payment. The house had been purchased by a third-party seller on behalf of the company in June at its original sale price and will be sold by Disney.
The company said in the filing that it would realize any gain or loss on the sale of the property and that “under no circumstances will Mr. Morrell benefit financially from the sale of the property.”
Disney has previously said it will pay to ship Morrell’s household items to Washington, DC, where he was born and raised and where he moved to work for consulting firm Teneo.
Disney and Morrell did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment, which were sent outside of normal US business hours.