Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner Supports Bob Iger in Board Proxy Fights, Says Disrupting Iger is ‘Playing With Fire’

Shannen Ace

Michael Eisner

Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner Supports Bob Iger in Board Proxy Fights, Says Disrupting Iger is ‘Playing With Fire’

In a statement to DealBook, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner expressed his support for current CEO Bob Iger and Disney executives amid proxy fights with Trian Partners and Blackwells Capital for Board of Directors seats.

Michael Eisner Supports Bob Iger

Michael Eisner
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Michael Eisner was CEO from 1984 to 2005. When internal and shareholder support of Eisner waned significantly, he retired and Bob Iger took over the position of CEO.

Read Eisner’s statement below.

In 1983, Disney was under attack by corporate raiders trying to take over the company. That would have ended the Disney Company as we know it, for the studio, theme parks, and hotels were suggested to be sold off. The board turned to me and Frank Wells, and a different story was written, one that was continued by Bob Iger and his executive team.

Today, a similar situation exists, so let’s remember the lessons from 40 years ago. Bringing in someone who doesn’t have experience in the company or the industry to disrupt Bob and his eventual successor is playing not only with fire but earthquakes and hurricanes as well. The company is now in excellent hands and Disney shareholders should vote for the Disney slate.

Eisner previously supported Iger when the latter returned to the CEO position in 2022, taking over from Bob Chapek after a short retirement.

Disney has also received support from proxy advisory firm Glass LewisJPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, “Star Wars” creator George Lucasformer Imagineer Bob Weis, and the grandchildren of Walt and Roy Disney.

Proxy advisory firm ISS expressed support for Nelson Peltz of Trian. Peltz is vying for a Board seat for himself and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, although ISS recommended against Rasulo’s election.

Shareholder votes for Disney’s Board of Directors will be tallied during the April 3, 2024, meeting.

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