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Disney chief’s deal loaded with carrots

Sat., Feb. 2, 2008

The Walt Disney Co., of Los Angeles, said on Friday it signed chief executive Robert Iger to a new five-year contract that will pay him an annual salary of $2 million plus bonuses and stock awards that could be worth millions more.

Under the deal, Iger could receive an annual incentive bonus of $10 million or more, along with an annual long-term incentive compensation equity award valued at $9 million or more, if Disney meets certain performance goals, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Iger’s previous contract included an annual performance bonus beginning at $7.25 million and annual long-term incentive compensation starting at $8 million.

The new deal also calls for the executive to receive a stock option grant for the purchase of 3 million shares of Disney common stock at the exercised price of $29.50 a share.

Motorola Inc.‘s investors were placated for at least a day – and sent its battered stock soaring 10.3 percent Friday – after the company signaled it may get out of its trademark cell-phone business.

Industry analysts said the handset maker could get at least $5 billion for the troubled unit.

But they cautioned that a sale, spinoff or joint venture won’t alter the unit’s severe challenges and said the lack of promising products in the pipeline may be a deterrent to any buyer.

The company also faces the prospect of more job cuts and a repeat proxy fight with the shakeup-minded Carl Icahn, who nominated four new members for the board of directors and told Motorola he has increased his stake to 5 percent.

Dell Inc. is cutting more than 1,200 jobs, about 900 of them at a call center in Canada, as the computer maker reduces its sales and support work force.

It’s one of the biggest rounds of layoffs at Dell since May, when the company announced it would reduce its work force by 10 percent. The company had 88,500 employees worldwide at the end of October.

The layoffs are part of a move to simplify the business and increase efficiency, Dell spokesman David Frink said Friday.

He said the Round Rock, Texas-based company would provide an update of its plans when it reports the latest financial results Feb. 28.


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