Connect with us


Disney Prevails Against Activist Investor Pressure

  • Disney prevails against activist investor Nelson Peltz’s bid for board seats, securing shareholder support for its current leadership and strategy.
  • Despite criticism over its streaming strategy and cultural issues, Disney’s board, led by Bob Iger, remains intact, focused on growth and shareholder value.

Disney is victorious against critics who accused it of neglecting its streaming strategy and losing creative drive.

Trian Management’s Nelson Peltz had sought seats on Disney’s board of directors as an activist investor; these investors felt too closely associated with its leadership at Disney.

They pledged their efforts towards priorities like higher profits.

A majority of shareholders voted in favour of maintaining the current board for their company.

Walt Disney announced at its shareholder meeting Wednesday that its board nominees had been approved with an overwhelming margin; 31% of votes cast went towards Mr Peltz being appointed, according to sources familiar with results.

However, Disney’s struggle raised important questions about its film and television business and cast doubt upon long-time leader Bob Iger’s legacy.

“What we really need from Disney is for them to create great content that excites consumers while creating long-term value for its shareholders,” Mr. Peltz stated at Wednesday’s shareholder meeting.

Mr Peltz has become well known for his battles against large companies like Wendy’s fast food franchise and Procter & Gamble (producers of brands including Pampers and Vick’s).

He had sharply criticized Disney for responding too slowly when pay television subscribers began fleeing in 2015 and that risky decisions such as Mr Iger’s purchase of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in 2019 had not paid off.

Trian and Blackwells Capital said Disney’s board had overpaid executives and neglected its duty of selecting a new chief executive, failing to select an acceptable replacement candidate for Mr Iger.

Trian also called for an audit of Disney studio operations after noting a string of disappointing films at box offices worldwide.

Disney was recently the subject of criticism by right-wing activists who have accused it of going “woke”.

Concerns from Disney shareholders over how it handles culture war issues sparked several questions at Wednesday’s meeting; unfortunately, shareholder proposals related to political contributions, charitable giving, trans employee policies and donor policies were all defeated as separate shareholder proposals.

Disney had advised shareholders against voting in favour of those proposals and to support their current board, saying new faces might disrupt progress made so far by Disney.

As Mr Iger observed at the meeting following results’ release, “today we stand on an ever-firmer foundation”. With these changes underway at Walt Disney Company and beyond, a bright new future seems certain for future growth and profitability.

Mr Iger had retired as Disney CEO in 2020 but Disney’s board unexpectedly reinstated him as their leader again in 2022, replacing his successor due to concerns regarding streaming operations and other issues within the business.

Mr Iger made headlines soon after returning, by announcing an immediate reorganization and thousands of job cuts intended to boost profitability at his former company, Disney. Now planning his exit by 2026.

“Now that the proxy contest is behind us, our primary objectives remain: growing shareholder value while creating outstanding experiences for consumers,” Iger stated in his post-victory statement.

Trian estimated its shareholder acquisition efforts would cost $25m million, including spending millions to reach everyday investors through social media ads targeted towards them; Disney estimated spending up to $40m.

Mr Iger was victorious – winning support from major shareholders such as George Lucas of Star Wars fame and Laurene Powell Jobs (Steve Jobs’ widow). Additionally, members of Disney family voiced their backing as well.

Mr Peltz, who had won Elon Musk’s support late in his campaign efforts, expressed disappointment but pride for its impact in an official statement after its conclusion.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Text Translator

Awards Ceremony

Click on the Image to view the Magazine

Translate »