Disney heiress calls company CEO Bob Iger's NZ$98 million paypacket 'insane'

The heiress to the Disney empire has criticised the pay of the company's chief executive, calling it "insane".

In 2018, CEO Bob Iger received a bonus that brought his total compensation up to NZ$98 million.

Heiress Abigail Disney calculated this bonus would be enough to give a 15 percent pay rise to every Disneyland employee, and Iger would still pocket NZ$15 million.

Ms Disney criticised the pay in a conversation on "humane capitalism" hosted by the Fast Company Impact Council, an "invitation-only collective of innovative leaders".

Ms Disney said her view has been shaped by conversations with Disneyland employees in California who struggle to pay for basics such as medicine.

"There's a point at which there's just too much going around the top of this system into this class of people who - I'm sorry this is radical - have too much money. There is such a thing," Ms Disney said on Thursday.

A Disney spokesperson responded to her criticism with a statement offered to Fast Company.

"Disney has made historic investments to expand the earning potential and upward mobility of our workers, implementing a starting hourly wage of $15 (NZ$22.50) at Disneyland. That's double the federal minimum wage, and committing up to $150 million for a groundbreaking education initiative that gives our hourly employees the opportunity to obtain a college or vocational degree completely free of charge."

But Ms Disney disputed this in a lengthy Twitter thread on Sunday.

"To brush aside criticism of the low wage you pay workers at the company by saying you pay more than the federal minimum and that you provide education is a dodge. We all know the federal minimum is too low to live on," she wrote.

"So why must we, at a company that's more profitable than it's ever been, be paying anything so close to the least the law allows at all? Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince."

Ms Disney was careful to point out she's not against Iger.

"I'm not saying Iger doesn't deserve a bonus. He most certainly does. He is brilliant and has led the company brilliantly."

According to Equilar, a company that tracks executive compensation, Iger made 1424 times the median amount an employee made.