Disney Rebels Reiterate Demand for Eisner's Head

08 March 2004

The half-measure implemented by the Walt Disney Company after last week's stormy annual meeting [WAMN: 04-Mar-04] has not silenced the baying of dissident shareholders.

At the meeting, former directors and shareholders, Roy E Disney (Walt's nephew) and Stanley Gold -- together with a number of state pension funds and institutional stockholders -- demanded the head of Disney's supreme ruler, chairman/ceo Michael Eisner, a staggering forty-three percent voting against his re-election to either role.

The Disney board's response? To leave Eisner in situ as chief executive and switch the chairman's role to Eisner's ally and co-director George Mitchell.

This, snarl Gold and Roy Disney, is not good enough, terming it "a blatant rejection of shareholder will, a betrayal of trust and a significant step backwards for substantive governance reform in America's capital markets."

The scene looks set for a long and bruising battle, although some media onlookers (including this one) predict a sudden and surprising denouement.

Data sourced from: The Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff