Eisner Wants to Linger as Disney Chairman, Book Claims

11 February 2005

According to the controversial new book, DisneyWar: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Stewart [WAMN: 09-Feb-05], Walt Disney Company boss Michael D Eisner hankers to retain his lucrative association with the Mouse House after he steps down as ceo in September.

The book (whose content is disputed by Disney executives) quotes an interview with Eisner in which he said he would consider staying on. "I didn't say I didn't want to be chairman; Zenia has been saying that," Eisner allegedly told the author on September 29 2004, referring to Disney's corporate spokeswoman Zenia Mucha.

"I don't want to be irrelevant. I'm not going to ask the board to be named chairman. I'm not going to beg for it. But the board might come to me. Then I'd have to consider it."

In the light of the hostility toward Eisner displayed by influential stockholders Roy E Disney and Stanley Gold - who between them control thirty million shares in the company - the board is unlikely to make any such appeal.

A likelier response might echo Oliver Cromwell's famed invective directed at England's so-called Rump Parliament in 1653: "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

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