The Battle for Disney (CONSOLIDATED THREAD)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Ernest Rister, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Calif. Pension Fund Won't Back Eisner
    1 hour, 58 minutes ago
    By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer

    LOS ANGELES - Embattled Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner lost the support Wednesday of California's powerful state retirement fund, a big investor that called the company's performance "dismal."

    The California Public Employees' Retirement System said it will withhold its votes for Eisner's re-election, citing Disney's poor performance over the past five years and saying it lacked confidence in the company's "long-term strategic vision."

    "We have lost complete confidence in Mr. Eisner's strategic vision and leadership in creating shareholder value in the company," Sean Harrigan, president of the CalPERS board of administration said.

    CalPERS is the 29th single largest shareholder of Disney, with 9.9 million shares.

    Its announcement came hours after Glass Lewis & Co., a San Francisco-based research firm that advises institutional shareholders, recommended that holders of Disney stock withhold their votes for Eisner.

    The recommendation lends strength to the efforts of two ex-board members, Stanley Gold and Roy E. Disney, to oust Eisner, who has served as chairman and chief executive since 1984.

    Disney's annual meeting is scheduled for March 3 in Philadelphia.

    -- AP

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    Advisor: Vote Against Disney's Eisner
    Wed Feb 25, 4:37 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An independent advisor on Wednesday recommended that Walt Disney Co. (NYSE[​IMG]IS - news) shareholders vote against reelecting Chief Executive Michael Eisner and directors George Mitchell and Gary Wilson to the board.

    The recommendation was a boost to former directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, who have said Eisner should step down and have urged shareholders to withhold votes from him and three other directors at the company's March 3 annual meeting.

    "The Disney board has been notoriously insular, famously gullible and blindly loyal to Mr. Eisner," said Glass Lewis, an independent company that advises Wall Street and institutions on how to cast their ballots in shareholder votes.

    The recommendation against Eisner was the second by an independent advisor in two weeks. Glass Lewis' larger competitor, Independent Shareholder Services, on Feb. 11 said Eisner "still hasn't gotten it quite right," and Disney was a "poster child" for the need to separate the roles of chairman and CEO.

    Pressure is intense on Disney's board, which has rejected a takeover bid from cable operator Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA - news) Comcast has made clear it still wants the merger.

    Glass Lewis said shareholders should put the board on notice, even though it noted some progress in corporate governance by the board.

    "Disney's board has come a long way, but not far enough," it said.

    - Reuters

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    Find Out How You Can Join the Battle at www.SaveDisney.com
     
  2. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Wow. Anyone still think Mikey is getting out of this...well, besides with a big, fat golden parachute I mean.

    The good news - its far less likely that we will ever see CGI 3-D remakes of Disney classics. [​IMG]
     
  3. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Ernest, thanks much for the info. Mikey is even less popular now than Jar Jar Binks.

    I read something over at Jim Hill yesterday, that didn't surprise me but just spoke volumes of how big of a mess he's created at Disney. There are people that are still working for the animation division that basically guarantee that within the next couple of years that disney will reopen its 2D animation division, and have to dig out of the mess it put itself in. That was the basic gist of the article anyway.

    March 3, could be a very interesting day. He's in so much trouble that not even comments from Kirmet the frog could be enough to save him. Of course like Seth said, he'll leave in pretty good shape so I don't feel sorry for him at all.

    Thanks again Ernest!
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    The news from CalPERS is huge, because it sends a signal to other large investors that there is broad support for opposition.

    Realize, it is not a matter of Eisner being voted down; Roy Disney is probably right, in that if Eisner receives a greater then 20% "No confidence" type vote, the board will have to look for his resignation.

    I'm pretty surprised such a big investor as CalPERS came out and noted their play, but it's a sign for a potential "stampede" effect, wherein other investors jump on board ("They must know SOMETHING") and so on..
     
  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I know numerous people who work at Walt Disney Studios, because I used to work as a temp there a lot. They all hope Eisner is going. One of them I ran into in line at the pharmacy a couple weeks ago, and he said, "Everybody wants him out of there."

    "Is he an asshole to work with?" I asked him. (This guy has not worked with Eisner personally, but he works in the Team Disney building, where Eisner's office is, so he might have heard.)

    "I don't know anyone who's ever had a run-in with him or anything," he said. "But he just acts like he's emperor or something."

    Then he told me he had tried to log on to the SaveDisney.com web site from work, just out of curiosity... and the address is blocked on all Disney computers! [​IMG]

    I also want to add that I've never heard anyone who works there say anything but good about Roy Disney. He is (was) very well liked.
     
  6. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Ahh, the futileness of a shareholder proxy fight.
     
  7. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    I personally think that with the decision by CalPERS NOT to support Michael Eisner, don't be surprised that Eisner announces during the shareholder meeting that he will step down from the Disney board within 60-90 days of the March 2004 shareholders meeting.

    My guess is that Eisner will be offered a US$70 million golden parachute to retire, and Eisner will retire to his family farm in Maine by this fall.
     
  8. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Goes to show you that there is no incentive for CEO's and management to have the customers', employees', and regular schmoe shareholders' interests at heart. They can tell their customers to take a flying leap, run a company into the ground and destroy many people's lives, yet get off with millions in loot, and no repercussions.

    Sad. Very, very sad.

    Corporations are headed into the moral toilet, if some aren't there already.

    Dan
     
  9. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    Do I even dare to ask who the biggest shareholder is and how many shares they have? I'm assuming the Disney family is #1, but it boggles my mind as to how many shares they could have.
     
  10. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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  11. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    thnaks for the info makes for interesting reading indeed

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    Eisner was already in trouble, but the CALPERS announcement ought to be the death knell for him.

    The "no confidence" vote will be embarrassing to the Board. Eisner will pull the cord on the golden parachute - only question now is "when", not "if".
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    NY Pension Fund manager backs CalPERS decision, echos the same call

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...dc_4&printer=1


    In other words: Major pension funds are all withholding votes.. now will depend on if any of the major holders sway, or if this protest is enough to guide more then a few along.

    Definitely resonates for bad press to have 30Million shares vote "no" when you have no opposition..
     
  14. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Ive never met Eisner, but his kids are gigantic P&$*S. Usually the poison apple doesnt fall that far from the wicked witch...
     
  15. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Oh, REALLY? Tell, tell... [​IMG]
     
  16. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Yes yes, do tell that's information I want to have.
     
  17. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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    To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what "P&$*S" are. We're all adults here. Why don't you let us know what you're trying to say?
     
  18. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I think he means pricks.
     
  19. FredK

    FredK Second Unit

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    Disney is reportedly making an announcement at about 220 CDT today (in 20 minutes), reports have been that he has stepped down.

    It could be totally unrelated, but I'm guessing it has something to do with their Board situation.
     
  20. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    States of Missouri, Florida and other state pension funds have also announced they will withhold their votes for Eisner. This brings the "withheld" to about 33% according to CNBC estimates of known voters..
     

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