Disney leadership transition starts this week

Posted Friday, September 30, 2005 12:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Michael Eisner is stepping down as Disney's chief executive, as former number two Robert Iger assumes the top spot. The Orlando Sentinel has published a number of stories and editorials about Eisner's legacy and Iger's challenges.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Friday, September 30, 2005 8:38 AM
I am as critical of Eisner as anyone but there are some numbers in one of those articles that just make you sit upright and they are hard to comprehend.

These numbers compare 1984...his first year with 2004:

Revenues....$1.5 billion....$30.8 billion

Income....$294 million....$4.49 billion

Market Value....$1.9 billion....$57.4 billion

Man, I sure wish I owned Disney stock in 1984!

Eisner likely saved the company (with the help of key people such as Frank Wells and Jeffrey Katzenberg). He began to lose focus when he started to worry more about his people than his product, chasing away key executives who made significant contributions.

The other unbelievable stats? In the 20 years that Disney was going gangbusters the other media giants did the following:

Time Warner wrote off $99.7 billion.

Vivendi-Universal wrote off $40.6 billion.

Viacom wrote off $21.2 billion.

Disney was the only media giant to not write off any losses during those years...even with Euro Disney, DCA, The Emperor's New Groove, the loss of the 20K subs and a host of other things that critics pin on Eisner.

His time has come (and probably passed several years ago) but you cannot deny the lasting impact, largely for the good, of Michael Eisner.

Friday, September 30, 2005 9:18 AM
How true. While I think Disney is better off without him nowadays, it cannot be disputed that Disney would not be around today if it weren't for Michael Eisner and Frank Wells.
Friday, September 30, 2005 12:19 PM
I think overall Eisner did a very good job for the company.
Things went downhill for him and the co. when Frank Wells died.It seemed that Wells had the ability to corral in Eisner and keep him focused and limit his micro-management.
Esiner did help save a company that waqs under attack by raiders who would have sold it off in pieces for a short term gain without looking to the future.
Friday, September 30, 2005 11:15 PM
Oh, I think Eisner served a purpose, and did very well. Heck, even in the past few years, he didn't do a 'bad' job. His last name ain't Burke.

But also, I believe that he hit is prime, like everyone usually does at running a company, and then on the downward slope, he kept sliding longer than he needed to, and probably would still be were it up to him.


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