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Are Eisner's Days at Disney Numbered?

March 4th, 2004

The power struggle at Disney continued today after 43% of shareholders opposed re-electing Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner to Disney's board. In the aftermath, the board decided to remove Michael Eisner as Chairman, but keep him as CEO. This was done in an attempt to appease his critics, although given some of the strong language used this is unlikely. Strong language like, “Michael Eisner must leave now." said by former Disney board member Stanley Gold.

While Disney revenues are strong overall there are obvious weaknesses. For instance, lackluster ratings at ABC, which have dropped even farther this year. Also heavy-handed negotiating tactics have led to the loss of such talent as Pixar and Hilary Duff. And without a clearly defined succession plan there could be another Michael Ovitz like situation. Without going into too many details, when former president Michael Ovitz was fired after barely more than a year on the job, he received a severance package worth $140 million, or almost 10% of Disney's total earnings that year.


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Source: CBC.ca