Eisner Reassures Disney Staff

20 February 2004

The under-fire boss of Walt Disney Company has defended the company's strategy to staff after a rocky couple of weeks.

Longstanding chairman/ceo Michael Eisner sent an email to the media mammoth's employees -- or in Disney parlance "fellow cast members" -- telling them not to be distracted "from the primary mission" of family entertainment.

His comments follow Disney's rejection of a $60 billion (€47bn; £32bn) hostile takeover bid from cable giant Comcast. Eisner also faces a campaign to dislodge him by dissident ex-directors Roy Disney (nephew of Walt) and Stanley Gold.

The email assured staff that the Comcast bid had been unanimously turned down by Disney's board, adding that the entertainment giant would reject any offer "that does not reflect fully Disney's intrinsic value and earnings prospects".

Eisner is keen to divert attention onto the group's strong quarterly performance and upbeat growth forecasts. "Over the long run," he continued, "we believe our company will continue to enhance its legacy of delivering strong financial results by remaining true to the core family values, creativity and innovative spirit that have made Disney unique."

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff