The Wonderful World Of Options

Walt Disney Co.'s magic touch has not eluded Chairman Michael D. Eisner. Often among America's highest-paid executives thanks to stock options in his high-flying entertainment company, he realized a record $197 million stock-option gain on Nov. 30. Fearful that the incoming Clinton Administration would impose a tax on hefty corporate paychecks and hike rates for high-income taxpayers, Eisner exercised options on 5 million shares of Disney stock granted as far back as 1984. Because the windfall came after the close of his company's fiscal year, it isn't included in BUSINESS WEEK's calculation of Eisner's 1992 pay. But it makes him a solid bet to win next year's pay derby.

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