Eisner remains Disney CEO, loses board chair position

Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 8:20 AM | Contributed by beast7369

Despite a shareholder revolt that led him to lose the chairmanship of The Walt Disney Co., Michael Eisner vows that he will stay on as CEO through the end of his term in 2006.

Read more from ABC News.

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Thursday, March 4, 2004 8:21 AM
Well he's obviously thinking of the company. He did give the first interview to ABC!
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 8:57 AM
43% of the shareholders had a no vote. That is unprecedented. For the Board's response to be to name Mitchell Chairman certainly rings hollow. I think they are putting a band-aid on something that needs a tourniquet.

Eisner is as stubborn as they come and I know he will want to ride this out to the bitter end. I don't know what will give first; the Board or his own health? His family is wealthy for generations to come, he has a Gold pass to the parks until the day he dies. If I were him I would step aside and play a lot more golf.

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Thursday, March 4, 2004 9:22 AM
And this change is going to affect things how?

Mitchell is a good friend of Eisner's, so making him the Chairman means pretty much nothing. Now, in addition to having the Board in his back pocket, he now has the Chairman, too. Its like getting charged with murder and putting 12 of your best friends on the jury!

Only Eisner would stick around when almost half of the stockholders vote against him and his regime. On the other hand, way to go Roy and Stan! Getting all that support in just three months is pretty damn remarkable!

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Thursday, March 4, 2004 9:37 AM
I think it is rediculous that he is staying. The stockholders have shown that they want him out. *** This post was edited by Turbo 3/4/2004 9:37:40 AM ***
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 10:57 AM
Even worse, they made Eisner CEO and Mitchell Chairman. From what I have seen, I didn't think the problem was Eisner the Chairman nearly so much as Eisner the CEO. Perhaps it would have been better for him to stay Chairman. As I understand it, the problem isn't board actions, it's executive micromanagement!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
ObDisclaimer: outsider who barely pays attention to the Disney organization...

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Thursday, March 4, 2004 11:19 AM
Despite being an "outsider," RideMan hit the nail right on the head. Eisner will still be in charge of the major management positions in the company, and though he'll now technically have to report to the board, it's just that, a technicality. Whether or not this will really change anything remains to be seen, but I have my doubts.
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 11:23 AM
Already the criticism is starting to fly... for that very reason, no doubt. People wanted to see Eisner GONE, not have his position within the company re-defined. I can't tell whether or not this is Eisner being stubborn and wanting to maintain control over the company or the Board just trying to buy some time.
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 1:19 PM
(Another Disney outsider) At what point will the stockholders tire of his games and just start bailing out? The stock's pretty high right now (although probably not as high as when some companies and individuals purchased it) so why not get out now? If you can't get him out with a vote, pull the supporting cash ...
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 1:29 PM
I won't pull out because the long-term viability of Disney remains strong, no matter who is at the helm. It is perhaps the single most identifiable brand in the world. If you slapped the Disney label on a porn movie people would blindly buy the thing not knowing the difference. (When they got home they certainly be stunned but you get my drift.)

I have been on both sides of the fence. Eisner sucks/Eisner rules. The problem I see is what does the unknown represent? It is the same way I feel about Mr. Kinzel at Cedar Point. He has done some great things and some lousy things but in the back of my mind I worry some about what will happen when he goes.

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Thursday, March 4, 2004 2:11 PM
I'd wait for the special edition DVD for Steam Boat's Willie. :)
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 9:55 PM
Jeff, that's beautiful. Of course, I guess they had it coming, didn't they? Now, there's plenty of material for a "Who Killed Cock Robin?" joke, but then again, this IS a family site... ;)
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Thursday, March 4, 2004 11:30 PM
I'm surprised they just haven't hit Eisner with a parade float by now and been done with it.
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Friday, March 5, 2004 7:52 AM
That's really not funny.
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Friday, March 5, 2004 8:47 AM
You know pancake, if your family was walking through the park and your son was hit and killed by a float I doubt you'd be laughing. Why people can be so flippant about death remains a mystery to me.

I know people at the park and there were plenty of peers of that cast member that witnessed what happened and some of them are still in counseling and grieving.

Sometimes I don't know why I waste my time.

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Friday, March 5, 2004 2:50 PM
Don't you think that simply removing Eisner from chairman and allowing him to remain CEO (with a 43% no confidence vote) and replacing him with a close friend as chairman (who himself got a more than 20% no confidence vote) as a big thumbing of the nose to the stcok holders. Other CEO's (like at AOL Time Warner) have been kicked out on the behind with smaller votes.

Does the Disney board really not care about investors that much?

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Friday, March 5, 2004 3:08 PM
Of course they do... which is why they keep pointing out that the results are positive and continue to improve.

The financials are good. OK, maybe not good, but certainly better than they were a year or two ago. They see that as the core issue. Roy and his supporters see things in a more emotional way, with regards to the soul and creativity of the company.

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Saturday, March 6, 2004 9:56 AM
but dont you think that at least SOME people invested in Disney BECAUSE of the soul and creativity of the company and they wanted to see that continue?its not all about financials sometimes. maybe someone gave their kid some Disney stock cos the kid LOVES Disney and now they OWN a part of it...either way, everyone got screwed here.
*** This post was edited by 3/6/2004 9:39:55 PM ***
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Saturday, March 6, 2004 6:00 PM
If that's the reason anyone invests in a company, they're stupid. Emotions should not dictate investment. I own lots and lots of Cedar Fair, but if I see it start to tank or the dividends go away, you better believe that I'm getting out of it.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2004 2:45 PM
Eisner has sold the farm...no more Imagineering, no more Pixar, decimated animation staff, and cheap-looking new attractions which they should be embarrassed about. It's time for him to go and bring back what made Disney special.

Hope they don't go the way Six Flags has gone...

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