Judge in Disney case warns on soaring exec pay
Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:53 AM ET
WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Corporate directors must rein in soaring U.S. executive pay or face the prospect of government regulation, said the judge who presided over a landmark pay case involving entertainment group Disney Co. (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday.
Delaware Chancery Court Judge William Chandler -- who let Disney directors off the hook in August for Michael Ovitz's huge $140 million 1996 payoff after a brief failed term as Disney president -- warned in a speech to a directors' group that regulation would be a "blunt instrument."
"If neither the courts nor the markets are able to restrain executive compensation, and if you the decision-makers fail ... the result will be imposition of regulatory controls," said Chandler, whose court handles many important business cases.