Disney shareholders vote against executive compensation

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co <DIS.N> said on Thursday its shareholders, in a non-binding vote, rejected the executive compensation plan for Chief Executive Bob Iger and other leaders of the entertainment and theme park company.

Fifty-two percent of the shareholders voted against Disney's compensation plan, according to preliminary results announced at the company's annual shareholder meeting. Forty-four percent voted in favor of the compensation plan while four percent abstained.

"The board accepts the result of today’s non-binding vote and will take it under advisement for future CEO compensation," Aylwin Lewis, chair of the board's compensation committee, said in a statement.

In December, Iger's contract was extended through 2021 when Disney announced plans to acquire film and TV businesses from Twenty-First Century Fox <FOXA.O> in a $52.4 billion deal.

RELATED: Disney CEO Bob Iger

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger attends the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' at the Pantages Theatre on December 10, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1980: Bob Iger; 4th Annual Friends Finding A Cure Gala Benefiting Project ALS; Walt Disney Studios, CA; 04/29/2004 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 12: Bob Iger and Willow Bay attending Key To Life Gala at Pierre Hotel. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Bob Iger during 4th Annual Friends Finding A Cure Gala Benefiting Project ALS at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 8: Disney's Bob Iger and writer/producer Mark Zakarin pose at the afterparty for the premiere of Miramax's 'Keeping up with the Steins' at the Pacific Design Center on May 8, 2006 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Cie attends the ceremony to honor movie mogul Michael D. Eisner by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, April 25, 2008. AFP PHOTO GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Disney's Bob Iger arrives at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 34th Annual Dinner of Champions held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on September 25, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, president and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co., leaves the morning session at Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Media executives gather at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference this week looking to shed assets such as the Hulu LLC video website and G4 game channel amid a declining global stock market and slowing economic growth. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co. attends Unveiling Moment At Barneys New York & Disney Electric Holiday Spectacular With Sarah Jessica Parker, Bob Iger, and Mark Lee on November 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Barneys New York)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 04: Chairman and CEO of Conservation International Peter Seligmann and Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger attend Conservation International's 17th Annual Los Angeles Dinner at Montage Beverly Hills on April 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co., arrives at the Sun Valley Lodge ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries will gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company attends the dedication ceremony as ABC News headquarters in New York is proclaimed 'The Barbara Walters Building' ABC News Headquarters Dedication Ceremony on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., arrives for a morning session during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Friday, July 10, 2015. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger speaks in front of a model of the new Shanghai Disney Resort during a press event in Shanghai on July 15, 2015. US entertainment giant Disney gave the first detailed preview to the media for its planned theme park in Shanghai, promising Chinese features and new attractions unlike its five other resorts, executives said. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - SEPT 1: THESE PHOTOS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. FRIDAY, SEPT. 4, 2015. DO NOT PUBLISH UNTIL THEN. Sphero CEO Paul Barbarian show's off his company's new robotic toy based on the droid BB8 from the upcoming new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney president Bob Iger asked the Boulder company to make the toy based on the character from the movie which opens in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Bob Iger holds a press conference at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai on June 15, 2016. The Magic Kingdom comes to the Middle Kingdom this week when Disney opens its first theme park in mainland China, betting the growing middle class will spend big on leisure despite a slowing economy. / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Under the extension, Iger is eligible for salary and bonuses totaling $48.5 million when the transaction is completed, according to a regulatory filing.

Lewis said the board had decided it was "imperative" for Iger to remain as chairman and CEO to oversee the integration of Fox businesses. Fox also felt Iger's continued leadership was "essential," Lewis said.

"We believe that the terms of Bob’s extension are in the best interests of our company and our shareholders, and essential to Disney’s ability to effectively maximize long-term value from this extraordinary acquisition," Lewis said.

Iger's compensation declined by 17 percent in fiscal 2017 to $36.3 million. He received a smaller cash bonus due to the "absence of growth" in the year that ended Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing.

Shareholders on Thursday also elected 10 members to Disney's board.

RELATED: Old photos of Disney World

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Old photos of Disney World
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Old photos of Disney World
(Original Caption) Disney: Pastel colored castle, where 'Sleeping Beauty was awakened by the Prince's kiss,' is the entrance to Fantasyland. Here also are the diamond minews of the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland's looking glass world, and the habitat of many other characters in Walt Disney's famed cartoons.
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Goofy, Pluto, Julie Andrews, Pinocchio performs on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Mickey Mouse (center) with Disney World cast members -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Julie Andrews (center) performs on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
4th August 1972: A topiary model of an elephant at Disney World, Florida. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
December 1960: Entrance to Adventureland at Disneyland, California. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Prime Minister Nehru, of India, is shown as he toured Disneyland, World Famous amusement park, accompanied by Walt Disney, who drove the Prime Minister in an old fashioned electric vehicle. Prime Minister Nehru will spend the next two days in the Los Angeles area as part of his visit to the United States.
31st October 1969: Landscape artist Charlie Sepulveda creating life size topiary Disney characters for the Walt Disney World entertainment centre in Orlando, Florida (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
13th November 1969: The first phase of Walt Disney World under construction at Orlando, Florida. Covering 27,000 acres, it is the world's largest recreation centre. (Photo by Alan Band/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Julie Andrews performs in front of Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in the Magic Kingdom -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Julie Andrews (center) performs on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Julie Andrews on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom -- Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
APR 7 1972, APR 10 1972; Denver-Made Dune Buggies Heading for Disney World; Gail Kauffman of Unique Mobility Inc., manufacturer of The Englewood firm recently bought a half-interest in a dune buggies at 3730 S. Jason St., Englewood, perches leisure-car rental operation at Orlando - home of Disney on one of the 21 units ready to be loaded onto Santa Fe World - and will manage the operation with a fleet of 70 rail cars over the weekend for a trip to Orlando, Fla. dune buggies, all being shipped by rail from Denver.; (Photo By Bill Johnson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
THE GRAND OPENING OF WALT DISNEY WORLD -- Pictured: Julie Andrews on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 1: Boston College Cheerleaders along with the BC band perform out in front of the Cinderella Castle at in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, December 1982. BC was in town to play Auburn in the Tangerine Bowl. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
US Secretary of Education William Bennett, his wife Elayne, son John and an unidentified woman and girl, waving flags and parading down Main Street USA in an old-fashioned fire truck while on a visit to Disney World. (Photo by Robert Sherbow/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
THE MAGICAL WORLD OF DISNEY -- 'Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration' Episode 15 -- Pictured: (l-r) Roy E. Disney, Michael Eisner, Ronald Reagan, Art Linkletter, Robert Cummings -- (Photo by: Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Warren Beatty and Ron Galella during Press Conference For 'Dick Tracy' at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Crowds at Main Street of Disney World (Photo by Jonathan Blair/Corbis via Getty Images)
Crowds Waiting in Line at Disney World (Photo by Jonathan Blair/Corbis via Getty Images)
Group portrait of entire Walt Disney World staff, including cast of costumed Disney characters in fore, standing in front of Cinderella Castle prior to the grand opening of the amusement park. (Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - OCTOBER 15: LIFE cover 10-15-1971: Disney World opens. (Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images)
Views of Disney World's Skyway multicolored cable cars passing over Fantasyland on way to Tomorrowland. (Photo by Ray Fisher/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Disney World in Florida: exterior of Cinderella's Castle lit up at night and reflected in artificial stream. (Photo by Ray Fisher/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Interior of the Contemporary Resort Hotel's Grand Canyon Concourse lobby, whose ceiling is 14 stories high and has monorail terminal (background) ,at Disney World. (Photo by Ray Fisher/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman)

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