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+---Topic: Roy Disney quits/Eisner tries to erase Roy's name? started by Tigger58


Posted by: Tigger58 on Nov. 30, 2003 6:39 am/pm

By CARLA BARANAUCKAS

Published: November 30, 2003
nytimes.com

:Oo:


The vice chairman of the Walt Disney Company, Roy E. Disney, resigned from the board of directors today, citing his ``serious differences of opinion'' with the chairman, Michael D. Eisner, ``about the direction and style of management in the company.''

Mr. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, also called for Mr. Eisner's resignation. In addition, Mr. Disney stepped down from his position as chairman of the feature animation division.


The resignation lays bare a sharp conflict in an entertainment and media company that has called its theme parks ``the happiest place on earth.''

You well know that you and I have had serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management in the company in recent years,'' Mr. Disney wrote to Mr. Eisner. ``For whatever reason, you have driven a wedge between me and those I work with even to the extent of requiring some of I disagreeociates to report my conversations and activities to you. I find this intolerable.''

Mr. Disney noted that the nominating committee had excluded him from the slate up for election to the board of the publicly held company, ``effectively muzzling my voice on the board.''

Just last year in a boardroom power play, Mr. Eisner prevailed over his chief critic and fellow board member, Stanley P. Gold, investment adviser to the family of Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew.

After that episode, the board was reconfigured, in a move that was said to reduce the influence of Mr. Eisner's critics.

Mr. Disney acknowledged that he fell into the category of critic.

``Michael, I believe your conduct has resulted from my clear and unambiguous statements to you and the board of directors that after 19 years at the helm you are no longer the best person to run the Walt Disney Company,'' Mr. Disney wrote, adding that in the last 10 years the company ``has lost its focus, its creative energy, and its heritage.''

The Disney company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares closed at $23.09 on Friday.

Posted by: Tigger58 on Nov. 30, 2003 6:40 am/pm

This is NOT good!!
Posted by: Liv2CdWorld on Nov. 30, 2003 6:54 am/pm

:o
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 6:58 am/pm

Roy Disney telling Michael Eisner and Eisner's close associates on the Board of Disney "what for" = Good.

Disney family member no longer on the Board of Disney = Not good.

Who knows what's gonna happen next = Priceless.

Who needs soap operas on TV when you can have this real life corporate intrigue stuff at a place that just celebrated Walt's 100th Birthday a year ago and Mickey's 75th birthday within the last couple of weeks?  Who'd'a thunk it?  Though it's been building to this for two years or so, the surprise is when it happens and not that it happens at all.  Gonna be some kind of December, eh?  And the stockholders meeting usually held in February or March, some kinda fun then, too.
All IMHO/YMMV.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:01 am/pm

From CBS Marketwatch.com and Reuters News Service, begin quoting:

UPDATE 1-Roy Disney leaves board, asks Eisner to go--report
11/30/2003 6:25:10 PM
 
(Adds comment from Disney source in paragraphs 5-7)

NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. (DIS) Vice Chairman Roy Disney has left the company's board and is calling for Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner to resign his posts, according to a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal.

In a three-page letter to Eisner, Roy Disney said, "It is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me," the newspaper reported.

Disney cited a litany of complaints about Eisner's leadership, including the performance of ABC television and radio networks and Disney theme parks.

But the impetus for the resignation might be his apparent exclusion from the list of nominees to the board for the coming year, the report said. Disney has a board meeting this Tuesday.

A Disney source familiar with the situation confirmed that three board members, including Roy Disney, would not be up for re-nomination.

"Three directors have been told they are not going to be nominated again," the source said.

The three board members all passed the mandatory retirement age of 72, a threshold that has been waived in the past, the source said.

Roy Disney and Eisner have been at odds in recent years over the company's management as its strong financial position has faltered.

Roy Disney, the nephew of visionary company founder Walt Disney, in August said he struck a deal to sell more than 40 percent of his stake in the company, in which he was the largest individual shareholder.

A spokesmen for Roy Disney was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.

© Reuters 2003. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

End of quoted material.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:11 am/pm

Another couple of sources of information particularly Monday morning December 1, 2003:

Wall Street Journal, either the newspaper or online

CNBC on cable TV or satellite, a financial news network.  Eastern time they start live morning news coverage at 5 am Eastern/Central 4 am/Mountain 3 am/Pacific 2 am.  At 7 am Eastern, 6 am Central, 5 am Mountain, 4 am Pacific there will be a change of news anchor and a panel of Joe Kernan and another fellow who closely follow stocks will be on to provide any further news and their own analysis and financial news investigative reporting.  Wake up with this, like more details will emerge through tonight into Monday morning and through the week.

There are other financial news networks and correspondents out there, too, such as CNN FN, FOX News Channel and Neil Cavuto on that network in the afternoon weekdays at 4 pm Eastern, 3 pm Central, 2 pm Mountain and 1 pm Pacific.

If you are deep into wanting commentary and analysis on this story, CNBC offers some weekday evening shows after the markets close.  Particularly what I have in mind is "Kudlow and Craemer" at 9 pm Eastern, 8 pm Central, 7 pm Mountain and 6 pm Pacific Monday evening, then on Friday December 5th "Louis Rukeyser" on CNBC at 8:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 pm Central, 6:30 pm Mountain and 5:30 pm Pacific.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:17 am/pm

From the Miami Herald Tribune online, running a story from Associated Press, begin quoting:

Posted on Sun, Nov. 30, 2003  

Roy Disney resigns from Disney Co. board
GARY GENTILE
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Disney Vice chairman Roy E. Disney has resigned from the media giant's board, reportedly calling on Chairman Michael Eisner to resign also.

Disney's resignation may be a pre-emptive move to avoid being forced off the board of The Walt Disney Co. The board's governance and nominating committee has decided not to recommend Disney for another term because he is over the mandated retirement age of 72, sources close to the company said Sunday.

The full board is scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday in New York and board membership is on the agenda.

The story was first reported in the Wall Street Journal, which said the 73-year-old Disney sent a scathing three-page letter to the board on Sunday critical of Eisner's leadership over the past seven years.

A call to Disney, nephew of company co-founder Walt Disney, was not immediately returned Sunday.

Disney and his closest board associate, Stanley Gold, have been among Eisner's most vocal critics as the company's stock price has declined and the company has struggled with falling ratings at its ABC Television network.

The two other board members who will not be renominated are Raymond Watson, 76, and Thomas Murphy, 77, according to a source.

End of quoted material.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:26 am/pm

I'm not informed enough to know who Thomas Murphy is, but look at Raymond Watson.  Run to the public library on Monday and borrow a book called "Storming the Magic Kingdom".  It's out of print now, public libraries are very likely to carry this.  It's about the days leading up to 1984 when Disney was up for hostile takeover and Roy Disney and Raymond Watson, among others, brought in Frank Wells and Michael Eisner from Paramount to be #1 and #2 on Disney's Board of Directors and for the Company and turn the Company around.  In short, Ray Watson and Roy Disney are responsible for Michael Eisner and the late Mr. Wells being at Disney in the first place.   Wells died in a helicopter crash in the spring of 1994, a few months before "The Lion King" came out, the film is dedicated to Wells.  If there have been tensions between Michael Eisner and Roy Disney "for the past 7 years" as one story Rich read to me on the phone purports, that would date to around 1996 and the approximate time Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC.  Over the past 2-3 years it's been open in the financial press how Roy Disney was increasingly dissatisfied with how the Disney company and its stock was going and with how Michael Eisner was running the place.  In any good news archive online these stories are researchable.  Roy's last "hurrah" was "Fantasia 2000", I guess, since Roy had a special management interest in Disney Feature Animation.  Earlier this year Roy Disney sold off a big block of his Disney stock.  In November it made news that the Orlando Florida feature animation department might be closing.  Now this news.  Just FWIW/IMHO/YMMV.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:41 am/pm

From The Drudge Report, quoting:

ROY DISNEY RESIGNS; CALLS ON EISNER TO STEP ASIDE
Sun Nov 30 2003 16:32:17 ET

Walt Disney Co. Vice Chairman Roy E. Disney submitted his resignation from the company board on Sunday and called for Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner to step down from his own positions, the WALL STREET JOURNAL is reporting.

Disney, nephew to the late Walt Disney, sent Eisner a three-page letter severely criticizing his leadership during the past seven years:

'It is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me,... Accordingly, I once again call for your resignation or retirement.'

WSJ reporter Bruce Orwall writes that in his letter Disney said that Eisner deserved credit for a successful first decade after taking the helm at Disney in 1984. But he then detailed seven areas in which he said Mr. Eisner has failed the company in the past seven years.

The list of complaints included everything from the performance of the struggling ABC broadcast networks and Disney theme parks to Mr. Eisner's reputation for "micro-management of everyone around you."

The resignation comes in advance of a Disney board meeting this week. Mr. Disney's letter seems to indicate that the Disney board's nominating committee had decided to leave his name off the slate of directors to be elected for the coming year. Mr. Disney also indicated that he would also resign from his position as chairman of Disney feature animation.

A Disney spokeswoman initially declined to comment.

DEVELOPING HARD...

End of quoted material.

Matt Drudge has a radio show, he might be talking about this.  The show airs Sunday nights, here is a link to the affiliates to determine if a local station to you is carrying Matt Drudge's show and if so at what time tonight:

< http://www.drudgereport.com/affils.txt >

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 7:51 am/pm

Gotta hand it to Al Lutz at his MiceAge.com site.  Al's got the complete text of Roy Disney's letter.  Other links are to Associated Press or Reuters news stories already cited here.  If you want to read Roy Disney's letter for as long as Al chooses to keep the link up, go to < http://www.miceage.com > and you'll see at the top of the homepage the lead link is to Roy Disney's letter and other articles as of Sunday night 11/30/03 6:50 pm Central time (where I am).  If the link moves later than this I'm not responsible for keeping that close track of things, just go to Al's site and poke around.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 8:01 am/pm

:(  :musicsad:  :sniffle:

Particularly for Feature Animation if Roy Disney isn't over there.  He cared about it.  It was Roy Disney who talked Michael Eisner out of scrapping Disney Feature Animation after I think it was "The Black Cauldron" came out in theatres in 1984 or so.  Eisner brought in Jeffrey Katzenberg to head that division and of course after 1984 'til Katzenberg left in 1995 to form Dreamworks after Frank Wells died the second so-called golden age of Disney feature animation began.  Now, does this mean that Disney Feature animation is going away?  No.  Disney FA has films in the pipeline and a contract with Pixar to hammer out.  But will this impact on talks with Pixar?  Future Disney-only (no partners like Pixar) animated films?  Oh yeah, baby, it will.  It's all still breaking news and will have to settle and play out over the course of months.  But I feel for Mr. Disney right now as well as feeling for fellow Disney fans.

:(  :musicsad:  :down:

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 8:07 am/pm

LA Times does have this story on it's WWW site, the Orange County Register quotes the Associated Press business writer's story.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 8:21 am/pm

Orange County Register 11/30/03 carries more information from Associated Press business story, quoting:

Nov 30, 8:16 PM EST

Roy Disney Resigns From Disney Co. Board

By GARY GENTILE
AP Business Writer
 
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Disney vice chairman Roy E. Disney has resigned from the media conglomerate's board, reportedly calling on chief executive and chairman Michael Eisner to also step down.

Disney's resignation may be a pre-emptive move to avoid being forced off the board of The Walt Disney Co. The board's governance and nominating committee has decided not to recommend Disney for another term because he is over the mandated retirement age of 72, the company said Sunday.

The full board is scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday in New York; board membership is on the meeting agenda.

Disney, the nephew of company co-founder Walt Disney, has been increasingly critical of Eisner's leadership and has called for Eisner's resignation before, a move that was rejected by the board.

Disney is the last family member to be active in the company. He previously resigned from the board in 1984 to launch a stock battle for the company, which was then headed by Ron Miller, Walt's son-in-law.

Related Links
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Roy Disney Resigns From Disney Co. Board

Disney and Stanley Gold, who runs Disney's investments from a company called Shamrock Holdings, were instrumental in preventing a hostile takeover and installing Eisner and Frank Wells to run the business.

Gold remains on Disney's board. Wells died in a 1994 helicopter crash.

Disney's plan to resign from the board was first reported in The Wall Street Journal, which said the 73-year-old sent a scathing three-page letter to the board Sunday, criticizing Eisner's leadership over the past seven years. Eisner, 61, has held the top post since 1984.

"It is my sincere belief that it is you that should be leaving and not me," Disney wrote, according to a text of the letter obtained by the Journal.

Disney accused Eisner of "muzzling" his voice on the board, although he did offer some praise.

"Michael, I believe your conduct has resulted from my clear and unambiguous statements to you and the Board of Directors that after 19 years at the helm, you are no longer the best person to run the Walt Disney Company," Disney wrote.

A call to Disney on Sunday was not immediately returned.

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, the board's presiding director, issued a statement Sunday regretting Disney's actions.

"The Governance and Nominating Committee recently informed Mr. Disney of its judgment that the mandatory age limits of the company's Corporate Governance Guidelines, which had previously been unanimously approved by the Board, should be applied to him and two other Board members, Thomas S. Murphy and Raymond Watson," Mitchell said.

"It is unfortunate that the Committee's judgment to apply these unanimously adopted governance rules has become an occasion to raise again criticisms of the direction of the Company, and calls for change of management, that have been previously rejected by the Board."

Eisner is credited with building the company from a minor maker of mediocre films and proprietor of two theme parks in 1984 into a media giant that includes five theme parks around the world, the ABC Television network, the ESPN sports cable channel and one of the highest-grossing movie studios.

But he has been severely criticized for a series of blunders since 1994, which include the paying of a multi-million dollar severance to Michael Ovitz after serving less than two years as Disney president; the clumsy firing of former studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and the severe decline in ABC's ratings.

Eisner has also been criticized for micromanaging the company and presiding over a "brain drain," as top executives have left the company over the past 10 years, including Katzenberg, Steven Bollenbach, who now heads the Hilton Corp., and most recently Paul Pressler, who left last year to head Gap Inc.

Disney's stock has fallen from more than $40 per share in 2000 to under $14 in 2002. The stock has risen nearly 34 percent since the beginning of the year as the company's fortunes have gradually improved.

Disney shares closed at $23.09 at the end of trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

In September, 2002, after months of often bitter infighting among board members about the company's declining fortunes, the board unanimously approved Eisner's plan for improvement, which included the most drastic changes in board membership since Eisner became chairman.

One of the changes included bringing more independent members to the board, which had long been criticized for having a too cozy relationship with Eisner.

Since then, another vocal Eisner critic, Andrea Van de Kamp, was dropped from the board.

The two other board members who will not be re-nominated due to the age limit are 76-year-old Watson and Murphy, 77.

Watson is one of the board's longest-serving members. As vice chairman of The Irvine Co., a large California builder, Watson was an adviser to Walt Disney on the design of Epcot Center and has been on the board since at least 1984.

Murphy served as chairman and chief executive of Capital Cities/ABC until Disney bought the company in 1995.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 8:23 am/pm

I stand corrected as to the role Ray Watson played on Disney's Board and in learning who Mr. Murphy is.  Tigger58, thanks so very much for posting the breaking news.  To everyone else who've posted, many thanks.  Feel free to post your reactions, comments, questions, anything that comes to your mind.  But know this:  Roy Disney resigning doesn't mean the Disney company is going away or dissolving or falling apart.  It's a huge strong international corporation.  That said, it does seem that the governing board is about to go through some changes, and with that maybe some changes in direction for the company as a whole.  It's still playing out.  "Let not your hearts be troubled".  Let's wait and see what further news develops.  But if you have any opinions or questions or comments or reactions, do feel free to post them here.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 8:34 am/pm

Matt Drudge also has the letter:

TEXT OF ROY DISNEY RESIGNATION LETTER
Mon Dec 1 2003 00:42:12 ET

November 30, 2003

Mr. Michael D. Eisner, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Dear Michael,

It is with deep sadness and regret that I send you this letter of resignation from the Walt Disney Company, both as Chairman of the Feature Animation Division and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

You well know that you and I have had serious differences of opinion about the direction and style of management in the Company in recent years. For whatever reason, you have driven a wedge between me and those I work with even to the extent of requiring some of my associates to report my conversations and activities back to you. I find this intolerable.

Finally, you discussed with the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors its decision to leave my name off the slate of directors to be elected in the coming year, effectively muzzling my voice on the Board -- much as you did with Andrea Van de Kamp last year.

Michael, I believe your conduct has resulted from my clear and unambiguous statements to you and the Board of Directors that after 19 years at the helm you are no longer the best person to run the Walt Disney Company. You had a very successful first 10-plus years at the Company in partnership with Frank Wells, for which I salute you. But, since Frank's untimely death in 1994, the Company has lost its focus, its creative energy and its heritage.

As I have said, and as Stanley Gold has documented in letters to you and other members of the Board, this Company, under your leadership has failed during the last seven years in many ways:

1. The failure to bring back ABC Prime Time from the ratings abyss it has been in for years and your inability to program successfully the ABC Family Channel. Both of these failures have had, and I believe, will continue to have, significant adverse impact on shareholder value.

2. Your consistent micro-management of everyone around you with the resulting loss of morale throughout this Company.

3. The timidity of your investments in our theme park business. At Disney's California Adventure, Paris and now in Hong Kong, you have tried to build parks "on the cheap" and they show it, and the attendance figures reflect it.

4. The perception by all of our stakeholders -- consumers, investors, employees, distributors and suppliers -- that the Company is rapacious, soul-less, and always looking for the "quick buck" rather than the long-term value which is leading to a loss of public trust.

5. The creative brain drain of the last several years, which is real and continuing, and damages our Company with the loss of every talented employee.

6. Your failure to establish and build constructive relationships with creative partners, especially Pixar, Miramax, and the cable companies distributing our products.

7. Your consistent refusal to establish a clear succession plan.

In conclusion, Michael, it is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me. Accordingly, I once again call for your resignation or retirement. The Walt Disney Company deserves fresh, energetic leadership at this challenging time in its history just as it did in 1984 when I headed a restructuring which resulted in your recruitment to the Company.

I have and will always have an enormous allegiance and respect for this Company, founded by my uncle, Walt, and father, Roy, and to our faithful employees and loyal stockholders. I don't know if you and other directors can comprehend how painful it is for me and the extended Disney family to arrive at this decision.

In accordance with Item 6 of Form 8-K and Item 7 of Schedule 14A, I request that you disclose this letter and that you file a copy of this letter as an exhibit to a Company Form 8-K.

With sincere regret,

(Roy Disney signature)

cc: Board of Directors

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 9:00 am/pm

Al Lutz at MiceAge.com has the text of Roy Disney's corporate biography, as copied from Disney's own site.  You can read it as long as Al keeps it up on his site, it's the text directly underneath his posted copy of Roy Disney's letter of resignation:

< http://www.miceage.com >  Takes you to the site's home page, from there if it's still up you can click on Roy Disney's letter and when you get there, under the letter, is the text of Roy Disney's corporate biography.

Posted by: CHarrower on Nov. 30, 2003 9:31 am/pm

As a stockholder, I've been waiting for this.  While Michael Eisner with Jeffrey Welles helped to "save" Disney, Michael Eisner WITHOUT Jeffrey Welles has lowered the quality of the Disney brand considerably, and sadly.  

Many of the best "idea men" I've ever read about (or known personally) need that check and balance of a business mind paired with their own creativity, to keep a level of control.  When Jeffrey Welles died, that control was lost, and Michael refused to bring in another form of control to keep himself in check.

It will be an interesting week, as we watch to see if Michael responds properly, or if we end up with Disney without the family.  The fate of our favorite company hangs in the balance...

Mr. Eisner, I hope you do the right thing in this case.  We have appreciated your efforts, but it's time (past time, in many respects).  If it comes to a vote, I will vote against your continuing your tenure, and I know many others will do likewise.

Of course, that's just my opinion...I could be wrong.

-Chris
:flag2:

Posted by: RichKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 9:52 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

I just created a poll about this which I urge all Disney EchoEars to vote on. (You need to have a fully-validated email address to be fully registered -- if you've previously posted a message or replied to a message, then don't worry, you're qualified to vote.)

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 10:26 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
As a stockholder, I've been waiting for this.  While Michael Eisner with Jeffrey Welles helped to "save" Disney, Michael Eisner WITHOUT Jeffrey Welles has lowered the quality of the Disney brand considerably, and sadly.  

Many of the best "idea men" I've ever read about (or known personally) need that check and balance of a business mind paired with their own creativity, to keep a level of control.  When Jeffrey Welles died, that control was lost, and Michael refused to bring in another form of control to keep himself in check.

It will be an interesting week, as we watch to see if Michael responds properly, or if we end up with Disney without the family.  The fate of our favorite company hangs in the balance...

Mr. Eisner, I hope you do the right thing in this case.  We have appreciated your efforts, but it's time (past time, in many respects).  If it comes to a vote, I will vote against your continuing your tenure, and I know many others will do likewise.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Hi, Chris!  Just a gentle correction to your as usual right-on points:  It's Frank Wells who came in with Eisner in 1984 and who died in the helicopter crash in '94.  I agree with you, Chris:  Since Wells' death it's been like a fork in the road at Disney.  Some better decisions could have been made, or nixed at the outset, better people hired and retained, all kinds of forks in the road stemming from that one fateful tragic incident.  Staggering to think about it.  But Michael Eisner had in Wells someone very important:  Someone to tell Michael Eisner "no", mean it, and re-direct him to better pursuits.  Wells' was the Wall Street man of the two, Eisner at the time was more the studio head who knew Hollywood and how the business worked and how to work with creative people.  But Wells' had fantastic instincts of his own.  I remember reading posts on the old rec.arts.disney on Usenet about Frank Wells sightings at WDW, he'd come in and offer creative comments about improving this or that that turned out to be right on.  CMs liked and respected Wells.  His loss was immeasurable when he died.  Obviously, Wells' loss lives on today and in part led to Roy Disney's decision this weekend to resign.

And Matt Drudge ( "The Drudge Report" Internet news site) is discussing Roy Disney's resignation from the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company on his Sunday night radio show, as I type this.

I wonder if it was the accident report by the California accident investigators and Disney's admission this week that maintanance on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland was lax, I wonder if that was the final straw for Roy Disney.  As well as the age limit thing to remain on the Disney Board, that is.  Walt Disney thinking up Disneyland, Roy's own father instrumental in the financing for that park.... It's all combined business interests and family for Roy.  I wonder if that report and Disney's admission just hurt Roy's heart enough that he'd finally had enough.  We may never know.

Posted by: Goofyteer on Nov. 30, 2003 11:09 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
Roy Disney telling Michael Eisner and Eisner's close associates on the Board of Disney "what for" = Good.

Disney family member no longer on the Board of Disney = Not good.

Who knows what's gonna happen next = Priceless.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


My feelings exactly :o  :Oo:
Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 11:19 am/pm

From Reuters News Service as placed on CBS Marketwatch.com, adds some details.  Begin quoting:

DIS 23.09 +0.01 +0.04% Vol:1,950,500 12:00am 11/28/03

UPDATE 2-Roy Disney forced out of Disney, wants Eisner to go
11/30/2003 9:57:37 PM

(Recasts, adds Disney comment, byline, previously NEW YORK)

By Peter Henderson

LOS ANGELES, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said on Sunday it was forcing Roy Disney off the board due to its mandatory retirement age policy, removing the last Disney family member from the board and a prominent critic of Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner.

Clearly stung, Roy Disney said he would go and said Eisner should step down, a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal showed.

The move may be the last act of a showdown between Eisner, who has led the company for nearly 20 years, and the man who recruited him and then became a chief critic.

"It is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me," Roy Disney told Eisner in the letter dated Nov. 30, announcing he was stepping down from the board and his job as head of animation at the company named after his uncle.

George Mitchell, presiding director of the board, said in a statement that Roy Disney and two other directors, Thomas Murphy and Raymond Watson, would have to leave because of the mandatory retirement age, which is 72.

Disney will by 74 by January, when the board is expected to pick a new slate of directors.

The board's nominating committee, which had waived the retirement age cap in the past, had decided to apply the rule, Mitchell said.

"It is unfortunate that the Committee's judgment to apply these unanimously adopted governance rules has become an occasion to raise again criticisms of the direction of the Company, and calls for change of management, that have been previously rejected by the Board," Mitchell added in his statement.

Roy Disney, who led a 1984 restructuring and recruitment of Eisner, cited complaints about Eisner's leadership, including the performance of Disney's ABC television networks and its theme parks in the letter.

Disney said company performance had failed in the last seven years under Eisner's leadership. Other investors echoed Roy Disney's complains in recent years, but results have improved recently and shares have risen sharply this year.

An associate of Roy Disney who sits on the board, Stanley Gold, was not affected by the age cap.

Roy Disney, the nephew of company founder Walt Disney, in August said he struck a deal to sell more than 40 percent of his stake in the company, in which he was the largest individual shareholder.

Disney will be left with about 10 million shares, or 0.5 percent of the stock, less then the 14 million shares Eisner had in January. The deal in August allowed Disney to keep voting control of his stock for five years.

A spokesman for Roy Disney was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.

© Reuters 2003.

End of quoted material.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Nov. 30, 2003 11:29 am/pm

I've been reading Mouse Planet and Laughing Place.  Some of the people posting over on those sites speculate that Roy Disney may be off the Board at Disney but he's not out.  He still owns millions of shares of stock.  He could be in a position same as in 1984 when he resigned from the Board at Disney at that time, too, in order to get then CEO Ron Miller (Walt Disney's son-in-law) to resign so Michael Eisner and Frank Wells could come on board.  Others speculate a proxy fight might take place at the next shareholders' meeting (early 2004).

I didn't catch all of what Matt Drudge had to say in his radio talk show.  But Drudge did rather innocently wonder out loud why Roy Disney would want to resign when the whole Disney company seemed to be in the process of turning itself around (movies making a profit, people returning to the parks, etc.).  Then Drudge cynically brought up the brouhaha over "Bad Santa" (a very alternative look at who Santa Claus is, recently brought out that Disney was embarrassed by the film in light of Disney's family-friendly public image ) .

What an evening!  Just when you thought it was safe to eat the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers and have what's left of a quiet weekend to rest up after eating and shopping and movie-going, then this bombshell about Roy Disney drops.

Anyone else with comments, thoughts, opinions, reactions, support, anything to offer...  Feel free to post it here!  Including any additional news, do please post.

Posted by: CHarrower on Nov. 30, 2003 11:53 am/pm

Carol, you're right (as always)...

It is Frank Welles...now I'm going to be wondering who Jeffrey Welles was, and how he got into my Disney Encyclopedia (of course, that's a book in my head, so it might just be the result of too much tryptophane from this weekend! ).

Nevertheless, it's going to be a very bumpy ride.  I'm going to go dig out my copy of "Storming The Magic Kingdom", and remember how it all went down the first time.  Looks like we're going to ride this carousel again very soon.

And here I was having high hopes for my stock value to soar...guess I'll just count on the Wal-Mart stock to keep it's work up... :hurt:

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 3:03 am/pm

Ironically, Carol and I just bought 100 shares of Disney stock last week, before the profit statement came out and the stock went up. I bet the stock price drops on Monday.
Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 3:53 am/pm

According to < Jim Hill at JimHillMedia.com >,
Members of Disney's board of directors met this summer with Michael Eisner and asked him for the good of the corporation to consider stepping down, which he eventually allegedly agreed to, with certain conditions of his own: Eisner would be the one to decide when and where he leaves Disney. Supposedly all agreed that would be September 2004, the 20th anniversary of his arrival at the company -- but that he might have made the announcement then, about stepping down in spring 2005. That would be the start of "Disney's Golden Celebration" and Eisner would be able to make one final trip around the globe and then kick off Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration.

Jim writes, "But now that Roy's made his "Eisner Must Resign Now!" effort public, Disney's board members are concerned that -- in order to save face with his friends in Hollywood -- Michael may now decide to dig in his heels. Attempt to hang around for the full length of his contract with the Walt Disney Company. Which doesn't actually expire 'til 2006."

< Full details at JimHillMedia.com >.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 9:14 am/pm

Before the opening bell Disney stock is up fractionally on the news of Roy Disney's departure from the Board of Directors of Disney.  Overseas in London trading in Disney stock was very light.  An analyst for Credit Suisse says one of the things that must be resolved is the succession issue for Michael Eisner, CEO (means someone needs to be named and groomed who will lead the company when Michael Eisner retires or should Eisner die or become incapacitated while CEO).  

On CNBC they had the Wall Street Journal writer who broke the story about Roy Disney's resignation, last name is Elfman.  Elfman said, among other things, that Disney has instituted a strict code of conduct on its Board in the wake of all the corporate business and governance scandals of the last few years, which includes a mandatory retirement age of 72.  Elfman also said that when Roy Disney and fellow Disney Board member Stanley Gold have criticized Michael Eisner in the past, neither of them offered alternative suggestions for what they think should be done iin managing the Disney company better, all they offered were just criticisms.  Elfman sees the same thing in Roy Disney's parting letter, criticism with no ways offered for doing things better as Roy Disney would see it.  

The discussion among the anchors and guest stock analyst on CNBC, after Elfman's appearance, mentioned that Roy Disney, while still having a lot of shares in the company and still maintains voting rights over the block of shares he sold earlier this year, does not have enough of a percentage of ownership of stock to make that much of a difference now that he is outside the company.  They point out that Disney's recently instituted board governance rules are rather strictly enforced, when perhaps considering the experience and expertise of those being asked to leave due to their age (Roy Disney, Ray Watson and the man from Cap Cities) the rules should be interpreted more to be like "guidelines".  [Now doesn't that sound like what the pirate Barbossa told Elizabeth Swann in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" about the Pirates' Code ? ]  The panel said it would take ten people to replace Mr. Murphy, the man who had headed up Cap Cities/ABC at the time Disney took it over, that's how much expertise Murphy is said to have and they said it's more too bad Murphy was leaving given how much help ABC needs to improve in the ratings.  They also said it was doubtful Roy Disney could gather much shareholder support to get Michael Eisner out.  Not very many shareholders hold huge blocks of Disney stock, mostly small shareholders, and the stock this year has shown very good improvement vs. the past few years when it was down.  They said Eisner is responding to earlier criticism of him and his actions and actions of the company have resulted in a turnaround which should please shareholders and blunt any shareholder revolts against the CEO.  

Now, with all that said, I would point you to Wall Street guru Peter Lynch, who used to direct the successful Fidelity Magellan mutual fund and wrote a book called "One Up on Wall Street".  Part of Lynch's philosophy in choosing stocks to invest in is not just to read balance sheets and stock reports, but actually use that company's products, shop in it's stores, experience it as consumers do.  Based on that model, Disney fans may drool over this character or that movie, or enjoy visiting theme parks all the time to the exclusion of all else.  But we fans also see the Disney's company's products and services all the time over the long haul, and we have long memories.  We know the difference between "new product" of Walt's time, the time after he died, the time shortly after Michael Eisner took over, and the time after Frank Wells died and Paul Pressler headed theme parks, for instance.  We note how things stayed the same or changed for the better or worse.  As I read on other sites people agree with Roy Disney's words to Michael Eisner, not 100% but very high percentage majority.  However it still has to be played out 1) Who will be placed on the Disney Board to replace Disney, Watson and Murphy, and 2) Where Disney goes from here, and 3) Just when will Michael Eisner step down, and is he digging in his heels or is he trying to repair past mistakes, and 4) It's true:  It's one thing to gripe and criticize, but putting people in strategic places, making strategic decisions, following through and implementing those decisions, adequately funding new people and new decisions, adequately funding new attractions and ongoing maintanance, and whether a fickle market allowed to slide away will be lured back long term, and putting responsible and meaningful and ongoing oversight over all this....  As the saying goes, aye, there's the rub.

Rich says CNBC is trying to get interviews with Michael Eisner and others at Disney.  Well, aren't all the financial press trying to do that, too?  With a Board of Directors meeting already set early this week in New York, should be interesting.  Monitor financial news media for the latest.

Anyone with comments, suggestions, opinions, reactions?

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 9:35 am/pm

Another thing the panel on CNBC talked about this morning:
The suit by stockholders protesting how Michael Ovitz was hired and fired a few years ago.  Ovitz at the time was said to be a "rainmaker", someone with big Hollywood connections to bring stars and deals to Disney for movies, etc.  Well, once Ovitz got in there he was given a cushy title but no responsibility.  Nothing happened on his watch and after a very short time it was agreed to get Ovitz out of there/he wanted to leave.  So, after only being at Disney a very short time I think less than a year, Ovitz got one heck of a Golden Parachute compensation package, very lucrative, for hardly doing any work.  That stuck in Disney shareholders' craw and they filed suit in Delaware about it.  The panel on CNBC this morning said a few weeks ago the judge in that case ruled the case may proceed to trial.  The panel on CNBC this morning said look for Michael Eisner to take the stand, for how laxly the Disney Board operated back then, accepting verbal promises and handshake-type deals when new governance rules would be more strict and in the open and in writing, etc.  This case, the panel agreed, would be more explosive for Disney than Roy Disney's resignation.

Some on other Disney fan site discussion areas are suggesting and speculating that Roy Disney could combine his voting block with other large shareholders, such as the Bass Brothers, and attempt to force some change at Disney.  They also suggest and speculate that given the mandatory retirement age from the Board at age 72, Roy could have gone quietly but decided not to.  They suggest and speculate that Roy Disney can do carefully selected media interviews now that he is out and "free" to keep his message and opinions out in the public arena rather than behind closed Board of Directors doors.

Opening on Wall Street Disney shares are down.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 10:03 am/pm

From the website of ABC News (ironically, owned by Disney), I now present < an Adobe Acrobat pdf version of Roy Disney's resignation letter >. It even shows his signature.

As I write this at 10 am Eastern time, Disney stock went up slightly a few minutes ago but currenly the stock ticker shows Disney dropping again, down 0.09 (0.39%).

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 10:11 am/pm

...and now Disney stock is up again: 0.11 (0.48%). It is probably going to be a very interesting day, with up and down swings for Disney all day long. But what do I know.
;)

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 10:22 am/pm

The latest on the stock ticker now shows Disney up 0.21 (0.91%).
Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 10:39 am/pm

Los Angeles Times has a detailed article this morning, on other Disney discussion sites the article is said to "favor" Michael Eisner.  It's also pointed out on those same sites that the LA Times favored Gray Davis in the recent California gubernatorial recall election and we all know the outcome of that.  LA Times requires joining in order to view its articles online.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 1:06 am/pm

The Motley Fools, financial writers, and their take on Roy Disney resigning from Disney's Board of Directors, via CBS Marketwatch.com:

< http://www.fool.com/news....ounce=y >

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 2:03 am/pm

On CBS Marketwatch.com enter DIS into the left column search feature and hit "news".  Should take you to a collection of news stories about Disney.  Look for the New York Times timeline of events since Eisner took over as CEO and other articles about the Roy Disney resignation news.  For a 24-hour period these stories are all "free" to view, but if you want to delve into articles from past days you will have to register as a user on the site, which is free of charge.
Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 7:30 am/pm

Quoting from CBS Marketwatch.com and Reuters News Service:

DIS 23.17 +0.08 +0.35% Vol:12,328,600 4:00pm 12/01/03
After Hours 23.25 +0.08 +0.35% Vol:102,400 Last:5:37pm 12/01/03  

UPDATE 2-Disney power struggle grows, Eisner seen strong
12/1/2003 6:07:34 PM

(Adds Gold details)

By Peter Henderson

LOS ANGELES, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Two board members of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) who resigned in the past two days said on Monday they would seek the removal of long-time Chief Executive and Chairman Michael Eisner, raising the stakes in a long-running power struggle in which Eisner appears to have the upper hand.

Roy Disney, the 73-year-old nephew of cartoon pioneer Walt Disney, resigned from the board on Sunday, and his ally Stanley Gold followed suit on Monday. Disney stock barely moved on the news.

The two departing board members told cable TV channel CNBC they would urge shareholders to pressure the board to remove Eisner.

"It would be our hope ... to put pressure on the board to bring in new management," Gold said.

Roy Disney, the last remaining Disney family member to serve as a director, had briefly quit the board nearly 20 years ago, launching a shakeup in which he recruited Eisner.

Gold and a spokesman for Roy Disney said the resignations gave the men the freedom to criticize.

A spokesman for Roy Disney said he would not go away quietly. "He is not going quietly into the night at all," said the spokesman, Clifford Miller. "He feels that this has freed his voice."

The relationship between Eisner and Roy Disney had foundered in recent years, and Disney, facing an ouster from the board due to his age, resigned on Sunday.

Echoing many of the points in a letter to Eisner from Disney, Gold said that the board intended to "squelch dissent" by forcing Disney into retirement and that new policies muzzled board members.

"Perhaps acting independently, from outside the boardroom... I can have greater success in shaping the policies, practices and operations of Disney than I had as a member of the board," Gold said.

But analysts said the possible rebellion comes at a time when the company appears to be turning the corner financially from recent struggles.

Roy Disney controls about 17 million Disney shares, which is less than 1 percent of the outstanding stock but remains a substantial voting bloc.

His status as son and nephew of co-founders Roy Disney and Walt Disney commands a certain respect, but some investors were doubtful whether Disney's and Gold's resignations would win them widespread support among shareholders.

"It's a ploy, if you will, putting pressure on other board members to think about things," said fund manager Hal Vogel, who runs Vogel Capital Management. "It may well turn out to be a catalyst (but) it's not evident right now. Even with Stanley Gold's resignation, it doesn't change things much from yesterday."

Eisner for years has faced criticism for failing to appoint a successor and for an autocratic style of leadership that has led to the departure of top subordinates. Criticism mounted last year as Disney results sagged, but the recent upturn could strengthen his hand, analysts say.

"Disney is turning this year," said Bernstein Research analyst Tom Wolzein. "There are significant improvements in earnings in fiscal 2004... The issue for investors is: Can they continue to keep the ship turning toward the right course?"

Some analysts cautioned that Disney's prospects for growth were still murky.

"I'm quite worried about the potential for growth of the assets, many of which are quite mature," said Pascal Volle of Mercer Management Consulting.

Walt Disney shares rose 8 cents on Monday to close at $23.17.

(Additional reporting by Kenneth Li in New York)

© Reuters 2003. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 7:33 am/pm

Quoting from CBS Marketwatch.com and Reuters News Service:

Disney independent directors slam Roy Disney
12/1/2003 6:05:32 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Independent board members of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said on Monday that outgoing directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold were on a "destructive course" in their public calls for the removal of Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner.

"It is a disservice to shareholders and to employees that the company faces this distraction at a time when its performance is improving as a result of growth plans and initiatives being implemented by management with board approval," the directors said in a statement released by Disney.

© Reuters 2003. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 7:37 am/pm

Quoting from CBS Marketwatch.com and the Associated Press:

2nd Disney Exec, Eisner Critic, Quits
12/1/2003 4:08:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec 01, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Stanley Gold, a key ally of former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Roy E. Disney, resigned from the media and entertainment conglomerate's board Monday, becoming the second vocal opponent of chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner to quit in two days.

Gold issued a long rebuke to Eisner and the board, seconding complaints made Sunday by Roy Disney and further criticizing the board as being a rubber stamp to senior management.

Gold also repeated Roy Disney's calls for Eisner to resign.

"It is clear to me that this board is unwilling to tackle the difficult issues I believe this company continues to face - management failures and accountability for those failures, operational deficiencies, imprudent capital allocations, the cannibalization of certain company icons for short-term gain, the enormous loss of creative talent over the last years, the absence of succession planning and the lack of strategic focus," Gold wrote.

On Sunday, Roy Disney, 73, stepped down from the board of directors and resigned as chairman of Walt Disney Animation and called on Eisner, 61, to resign.

"It is my sincere belief that it is you that should be leaving and not me," Roy Disney wrote to Eisner in a scathing letter.

Gold's resignation comes as the Disney company's board begins two days of meetings in New York.

The board is scheduled to discuss the report of its governance and nominating committee, which recommended that Roy Disney and two other directors not be renominated because they exceed the company's mandatory retirement age of 72.

Gold, 60, played a key role along with Roy Disney in 1984 to save the company from a takeover attempt and install Eisner as chairman. He heads Shamrock Holdings, which manages Roy Disney's investments.

But Gold's role has been diminished over the past two years as he has become more of a critic of Eisner's performance. Last year, the board adopted new corporate governance guidelines that removed Gold's status as an independent investor and cut his influence.

Gold blasted a statement made Sunday by another Disney board member, former Sen. George Mitchell, defending the board's decision to enforce new corporate governance guidelines.

Mitchell said in a statement Sunday that he regretted Roy Disney's actions and confirmed that the governance and nominating committee recently informed the vice chairman that the age-limit rule, instituted last year, should apply.

"It is unfortunate that the committee's judgment to apply these unanimously adopted governance rules has become an occasion to raise again criticisms of the direction of the company, and calls for change of management, that have been previously rejected by the board," Mitchell wrote.

On Monday, Gold wrote, "The real reason for the committee's action is that Roy has become more pointed and vocal in his criticism of Michael Eisner and this board. This is yet another attempt by this board to squelch dissent by hiding behind the veil of 'good governance."'

Financial analysts said before news of Gold's resignation that Roy Disney's comments would probably not have a long-term effect on the company because they come at a time when its fortunes are on the rise.

"While Roy's complaints are, I'm sure, heartfelt and he's serious about it, he just doesn't carry as much weight as he used to in the company," said Harold Vogel of Vogel Capital Management in New York.

"This is unpleasant for everybody. But as long as the company's stock price stays up, as long as the trends are on the mend, there's no reason to believe there would be anything different."

Most analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect Disney to increase its earnings in 2004 by 30 percent to 86 cents per share and by another 18 percent to $1.02 per share in 2005. The company's theme parks have seen slight improvements as tourism increases and its troubled ABC Television network has seen some rise in ratings and advertising revenue.

Shares of Disney were up 8 cents to $23.17 in late afternoon trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Roy Disney is the last family member active in the company, founded in the 1920s by his uncle Walt and his father, Roy O. Disney.

In January, the board announced three other resignations in an attempt to shrink the board to a more manageable size.

One of those directors was another Eisner critic, Andrea Van de Kamp.

While the board's actions since January eliminate four directors known to be Eisner allies and add several new independent members, they also effectively rid the board of all known opposition to Eisner and his management team.

---

On the Net:

The Walt Disney Co.: < http://www.disney.com >

Copyright 2003 Associated Press, All rights reserved

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 7:42 am/pm

Quoting from CBS Marketwatch.com.  Viacom owns CBS, Nickelodeon, TV Land, etc.:

3:14pm 12/01/03  
Redstone voices support for Eisner (DIS, VIA, VIAB) By Jon Friedman
CBS.MW (NEW YORK) -- Viacom (VIAB) Chairman Sumner Redstone voiced support for embattled Walt Disney (DIS) CEO Michael Eisner on Monday. In the past 24 hours, two Disney directors have announced plans to leave the entertainment and media company's board and one of them, Roy Disney, urged Eisner to resign, too. Redstone said in an interview that Disney was a "great company," which is becoming "greater everyday." He called Eisner "a great leader" and recognized Eisner's accomplishments while predicting that his counterpart would get past this problem. Disney's shares rose 6 cents to $23.15 in Monday trading. Viacom is a significant investor in MarketWatch.com, the publisher of this report.  

End of quoted material.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 7:48 am/pm

Quoting CBS Marketwatch.com and the Associated Press:

2nd Disney Exec, Eisner Critic, Quits
12/1/2003 6:51:00 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec 01, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- A key ally of former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Roy E. Disney resigned from company's board Monday, becoming the second vocal opponent of chairman and CEO Michael Eisner to step down in two days.

Stanley Gold issued a long rebuke to Eisner and the board, seconding complaints made Sunday by Roy Disney and further criticizing the board as being a rubber stamp to senior management. Gold also repeated Roy Disney's calls for Eisner to resign.

The two former board members told The Associated Press on Monday they will speak with large shareholders, financial analysts and the public for the first time to air the company's problems.

Gold accused the board of being too cozy with Eisner, despite the departure of several key Eisner allies over the past year.

"At the end of the day there was no hope of doing anything," Gold said. "They are all solid in Michael's pocket."

Gold said it was too early to decide whether he and Roy Disney would mount a formal challenge by seeking allies among large shareholders who could force a proxy fight.

Roy Disney, the nephew of company co-founder Walt Disney, said he is dismayed by rides at Disney theme parks that don't work, rising prices being paid by consumers for Disney products, and movies that carry more objectionable content.

"It's all about my name on it," Roy Disney said.

Roy Disney, 73, stepped down from the board of directors on Sunday and resigned as chairman of Walt Disney Animation.

But the resignations may have little immediate impact on the company, which has shown progress fueled by improvements at its movie studio, ABC Television network and even at its theme parks, which are gradually recovering from a worldwide tourism slump.

Paul Kim, senior media analyst at Tradition Asiel Securities, said Eisner, 61, has had to focus on boosting the company's share price, which has meant cutting costs and not spending millions of dollars on new theme park rides or television programming.

"From Mr. Eisner's standpoint, he had to listen to what investors wanted now, and I think he did," Kim said.

Gold, 60, played a key role along with Roy Disney in 1984 to save the company from a takeover and to install Eisner as chairman. He heads Shamrock Holdings, which manages Roy Disney's investments.

Disney stock rose 8 cents to $23.17 Monday.

Roy Disney is the last family member active in the company, founded in the 1920s by his uncle Walt and his father, Roy O. Disney.

---

On the Net:

The Walt Disney Co.: < http://www.disney.com >

Copyright 2003 Associated Press, All rights reserved

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 01, 2003 10:22 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Roy Disney, the nephew of company co-founder Walt Disney, said he is dismayed by rides at Disney theme parks that don't work, rising prices being paid by consumers for Disney products, and movies that carry more objectionable content.

"It's all about my name on it," Roy Disney said.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


In our Mouse House we all feel for Roy and appreciate what he has done and continues to do in trying to keep The Walt Disney Company true to the spirit that it had when his uncle Walt ran the place and his father Roy always found a way to find money to enable Walt's dreams.

Far from being just another disgruntled former Disney Cast Member, Roy is not giving up the fight to bring back quality, true showmanship, and heart to his family's business.

:clapping:  :clap:  :thumbsup:  :mickey:  :minnie:

Posted by: utilidor27 on Dec. 01, 2003 11:03 am/pm

It seems like Dec. is always a bad month for the Disney's.
I can only hope that something good comes of all of this, and that the company does not become mired in a bad soap opera that blemeshes it's image more than what it already is.

I have stated in the past my support for the things that Mr. Eisner did in the past as far as turning the parks around from the position they were in in the mid - 1980's. I don't think any of us who were around then want to remember anymore than we have to all the events that transpired at that period in Disney's history. Needless to say it was a very scary experience. That said, the more I have had the opportunity to read and be informed (thanks to the many links provided on this site) the more I have come about to believe that perhaps the time has come for a fresh voice, especially if the situation becomes so dire that someone with the Disney name decides that they can no longer associate with the company. (I would love to know what Diane Disney Miller thinks of all this). One thing that we all need to remember, as much as we might want change, is that if you are not very careful what you get in return may turn out in the long run to be worse than what you have. Do not go out expecting a quick fix - if Michael Eisner steps down it will have a major effect on the company, and it will effect it good and bad for some time.

Watch and pray. :mickey:

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 02, 2003 1:34 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------


---------------------QUOTE-------------------
Roy Disney, the nephew of company co-founder Walt Disney, said he is dismayed by rides at Disney theme parks that don't work, rising prices being paid by consumers for Disney products, and movies that carry more objectionable content.

"It's all about my name on it," Roy Disney said.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


In our Mouse House we all feel for Roy and appreciate what he has done and continues to do in trying to keep The Walt Disney Company true to the spirit that it had when his uncle Walt ran the place and his father Roy always found a way to find money to enable Walt's dreams.

Far from being just another disgruntled former Disney Cast Member, Roy is not giving up the fight to bring back quality, true showmanship, and heart to his family's business.

:clapping:  :clap:  :thumbsup:  :mickey:  :minnie:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I second that wholeheartedly.

Roy is a true Disney in his efforts to fight for his family's beloved legacy and everything it stands for. God bless him.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 02, 2003 2:30 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
I second that wholeheartedly.

Roy is a true Disney in his efforts to fight for his family's beloved legacy and everything it stands for. God bless him.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


And I third that!
:wwww:

Posted by: utilidor27 on Dec. 02, 2003 10:43 am/pm

I can only wonder what the implications will be as far as public reaction to this move by Roy Disney. Once the realization hits that there is no longer a Disney In Disney (outside of his stock holdings) there may be a major outcry. I have even had some people suggest that the name be changed to the Michael Eisner company! I have a feeling that there is going to be some major implications to this move that go well beyond board manuvering.

Fox news financial advisers last night said that they felt Eisner was safe at least through the upcoming board meeting. If their prediction is correct, then it would appear that this storm is not going away anytime soon. What a way to end the year! :(

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 02, 2003 3:58 am/pm

Kind of interesting to observe people and read what the financial press is writing.  You go around to Disney fansite discussion areas and the majority--not all but a large majority--are jazzed and tend to mostly agree with what Roy Disney wrote in his resignation letter.  But here's an article today (Tuesday 12/2/03) from Reuters News Service on CBS Marketwatch.com and they are reporting investors are likely shrugging off Roy Disney and Stanley Gold's resignations and any stockholder movement the two men try to form likely to not do well.  The financial press and investment community rely on their screens full of statistics and analysis and they are saying the stock this year is turning around, Disney's doing better than it had been, etc.  

I'm posting the article for you to read, with a question for all of you:  

Are the financial and stock analysis press in tune with Disney fans who intimately know the product, and with the average consumer, on the matter of Michael Eisner's leadership?  Or is it Disney fans who are out of touch with the realities of Disney and the financial and consumer market world?  Interesting questions to ponder, what do you think?


Quoting Reuters News Service by way of CBS Marketwatch.com:

Disney investors unlikely to push to oust Eisner
12/2/2003 1:50:36 PM

By Martha Graybow

NEW YORK, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Several large shareholders of Walt Disney Co. (DIS) on Tuesday said they do not plan to join a push to oust Chief Executive Michael Eisner, in part because of recent gains in the stock and optimism about the company's prospects.

Roy Disney, the last Disney family member to serve as a director, and long-time ally Stanley Gold quit the board this week and vowed to work with shareholders to pressure the company into removing Eisner.

"They might have found a more receptive audience 18 months ago," said Janna Sampson, a portfolio manager at OakBrook Investments near Chicago, which holds about 540,500 Disney shares. "The stock is up significantly this year. That will probably take some of the shareholder pressure off of Eisner."

Disney stock has jumped about 39 percent year to date, compared with a 21.6 percent gain in the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index.

"If the stock had been down or flat in an up year, I think people would be a lot less patient with it," said Bill Collier, co-manager of the $106 million CCMI Equity Fund, which invests in Disney.

He and co-manager Mark Brommer said they see Disney's fundamentals gradually improving, citing better performance at the ABC television division and the theme park business, which was hurt badly by the fall-off in travel after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"As things improve within the economy, I would expect Disney to participate in that improvement," Collier said.

Ted Parrish, a fund manager at G.W. Henssler & Associates in Marietta, Georgia, said the power struggle likely will be a short-term distraction for the company, but he thinks Roy Disney's resignation removes some dissension from the board.

"It is a distraction, but hey, Roy's gone, and he had been a big thorn in his (Eisner's) side, so maybe with one less cook in the kitchen there will be better performance," Parrish said.

The largest shareholder in Disney is No. 1 U.S. mutual fund company Fidelity Investments, which held about 66.3 million shares as of the end of September, according to regulatory filings.

Fidelity declined comment on Disney when contacted by Reuters.

Some shareholders said they would consider joining a fight for a management change, although they want to see specific proposals from Roy Disney and Gold.

"They need to present investors with something they can actually grasp onto and say, 'Here's what has been done in the past, and here's what we would like to propose,'" said Peter Sorrentino, chief investment officer at Bartlett & Co. in Cincinnati, which holds about 548,000 shares Disney shares.

"They are respected, and so they certainly have gotten the floor for the moment, but there's got to be more follow through," Sorrentino said of the two former directors.

© Reuters 2003. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

End of quoted material.

Look up above, feel free to post:  What do you think of those questions I asked (see up above)?

Posted by: CHarrower on Dec. 02, 2003 4:46 am/pm

There are two different perspectives to be considered here, IMHO...we as Disney fans, followers, and avid consumers have a higher standard that we hold the company to.  It's the standard established by Walt himself, and it's one that very few companies could long hold to.  It's the standard that Roy is trying to salvage and enforce, and it's the standard that we all expect to be inforced.

The financial community couldn't care less about standards, practices, Walt's legacy, or any of that...their only focus is the old Bottom Line, and whatever it takes to keep that solid. They only worship at the altar of the Almighty Dollar, and that's the beginning, middle and end of the story.

So the financial community looks at all of us (including Mr.'s Disney and Gold) as out of touch...we look at Walt's company as out of touch, and never the twain shall meet.

There comes a time for honesty, and I've been slowly reaching it over the past few days.  The company we all love is going through an overhaul, and it's not one that any of us desire, but I'm starting to think that it's not anything we can prevent any longer.  It could have been carved up years ago, and sold off by the Bass Brothers, but Roy (and Michael, lest we forget) prevented that from happening.  

Where do we go from here?  We offer our input and we hope (and pray) for Walt's legacy to endure.  But it's really out of our hands anymore, and all we can do is watch...which carries it's own kind of pain for anyone who loves this company.  
:down:

Of course, that's just my opinion...I could be wrong.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 02, 2003 10:23 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

I think Chris has hit the nail on the head. I was chatting with Carol earlier tonight and expressed much the same feelings. As I put it, Michael Eisner and Wall Street investors in general look at the quarterly bottom line and profits. They're overlooking the long-term effects of short-sided planning. Plus, way of running a business has no room for the soul of The Walt Disney Company the way that Walt Disney himself ran it -- and how Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold want it to return to.

If any Disney EchoEars wish to contact Roy E. Disney, I've found when checking with Google that websites are still pointing to his now-defunct address at The Walt Disney Company.

However, I've found a way that you can contact him. If you'd like to express your support, write a letter, print it out and mail it to:

    Mr. Roy E. Disney
    c/o Shamrock Holdings, Inc.
    4444 Lakeside Drive
    Burbank, CA 91505
I really think writing him a letter would be preferable than calling the (818) 845-4444 phone number, (818) 559-7320 FAX number, or the SCA@shamrock.com email address that < Shamrock Holdings, Inc. >'s official website also list.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 02, 2003 11:02 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

I join with Carol in encouraging all Disney EchoEars to add your thoughts and feelings about this as The Walt Disney Company truly is at a crossroads right here, right now. Tell us what you think!

Posted by: utilidor27 on Dec. 03, 2003 1:29 am/pm

Too bad we can't send a sackful of letters to the board of directors to let them know how we feel about all this brewha!

I think it is possible to have what everyone here envisions for the company, and still satisfy the corporate world. The question then is what will it take to achieve that. If Disney is so far gone to the level that Roy Disney states, then not only would the simple act of change in leadership at the company affect it financially, but the restructuring and rebuilding would cause major implications in many areas for some time. I think many of the investors that would like change are still ancy because of that and also due to the possibility that the stock would become so volatile - and as many have put it - it is stable at this time.

You said it very well, Carol, when you said the company was at a crossroads. I just hope that Mickey doesn't wind up getting hit by a train...... :hurt:

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 03, 2003 2:17 am/pm

Disney rebellion won't succeed "overnight" - Gold

Quick quote:
LOS ANGELES, Dec 1 - Stanley Gold, the Walt Disney Co. (DIS) director who resigned from the board on Monday, said it would take time for a shareholder rebellion he and Roy Disney have started to reach its goal of ousting Chairman Michael Eisner.

"I don't think things change overnight.... There is going to be a lot of education" and talking with investors, Gold said.

< Full details. >




Bitter Parting Words From a Disney

Quick quote:
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 - Roy Disney's parting words to the company his uncle built were harsh, but few resonated more painfully than the charge that the Walt Disney Company has "lost its focus, its creative energy and its heritage."

A significant number of Hollywood executives would agree. ...some in Hollywood and some even in the organization say that Disney is creatively adrift. "All the great executives have been driven from the company," Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of Miramax, said. "I think there is no camaraderie anymore, no great esprit de corps that I found earlier. I think there was more risk-taking, a more fun company. I don't know why, and it's sad that it is."

While Michael D. Eisner, the chief executive of Disney, may put down this revolt, as he has others, Mr. Disney's blast reflects a widespread resentment among people like Mr. Weinstein, who is engaged in tense negotiations with Mr. Eisner, and other disgruntled executives who have left the company.
[...]
For the first time in recent memory the animation division has no hand-drawn movies in the production pipeline. Last month the studio pulled the plug on the last hand-drawn animated movie in production, "A Few Good Ghosts," raising the possibility that the company will close an operation in Orlando, Fla., which employs about 300 animators.

< Full details. >




Disney names tech exec to board amid power battle

Quick quote:
LOS ANGELES, Dec 2 -  The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) on Tuesday named a software executive to fill the seat vacated by an angry Roy Disney who quit as the last member of the Disney family on the company's board in order to spearhead a rebellion against company chairman Michael Eisner.

John Chen, president, chief executive and chairman of database maker Sybase, will join the board in January, the company's directors said after a regularly scheduled meeting which followed the abrupt resignation of Roy Disney, nephew to founder Walt, and his close ally Stanley Gold.

The Disney board said Chen would help it navigate the new world of technology and an analyst said the Hong Kong-born executive would help Disney's theme park expansion in China.

JMP Securities software analyst Amy Feng also said she believed Chen could stand up to pressure on the board, a qualification that will be closely looked after Disney and Gold accused the board of rubber-stamping management decisions.

"I think he will do what is best for the shareholder, whether at Disney or at Sybase, and if that means disagreeing with Eisner, so be it," Feng said.

Disney is a Sybase customer but a Disney source said the companies did less than $25,000 in business annually.

Chen took over as Sybase president in 1997, when the company was losing money, and is credited with turning it around in terms of growth and profits, although it has not reclaimed its market dominance.

Sybase has also made strong inroads into China, while Disney is building a theme park in Hong Kong and considering a second one in Shanghai.

Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at FTN Midwest Research, said Chen avoided office politics. "He builds consensus. He is a person who knows how to dilute conflict -- his disagreements are not personal," he said.

Chen will join the board as an independent director, becoming the 12th director after Aylwin Lewis, president of fast-food restaurateur Yum Brands, Inc. (YUM) , who was named to the board in September and also joins in January.

His appointment comes as Disney is embroiled in a fight with Roy Disney and Gold who both resigned from the board earlier this week vowing to unseat Eisner from his job as chairman and chief executive.

Investors on Tuesday doubted that the fight would succeed, in part due to recent improvement in Disney's financial performance, but Roy Disney and Gold said they were in the fight for the long haul.

In a letter announcing his resignation on Monday, Gold said his former fellow directors made up "an insular Board of Directors serving as a bulwark to shield management from criticism and accountability."

A response from a group of independent Disney directors called Gold's statements untrue and accused him and Roy Disney of taking a "destructive course" in their efforts to effect change.

Chen, 48, is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He joined Sybase after rival Oracle Corp. (ORCL) had beaten it in many business arenas.

"From a strategic perspective, some of Disney's most significant long-term growth opportunities reside in the smart use of technology, and John will help the board ensure we're steering the company in the right direction." Eisner said in a statement.

< Full details. >




Sybase Chairman, CEO, and President Chen Elected to Disney Board of Directors

The Walt Disney Company (DIS) Board of Directors Tuesday elected John S. Chen, chairman, CEO and president of Sybase, Inc., as a new independent director, effective January 2004.

John Chen's more than two decades of success as a business leader, and his expertise in the field of technology, made him an excellent addition to the Disney board," said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman and chief executive officer. From a strategic perspective, some of Disney's most significant long-term growth opportunities reside in the smart use of technology, and John will help the board ensure we're steering the company in the right direction."

Chen said he was pleased to be invited to join the Disney board, and he is enthusiastic about the company's initiatives to take advantage of the latest trends in technology to develop content as well as distribute it in new and more efficient ways.

"Disney is at the forefront of the convergence between media and technology, and it is exciting to be able to play a strategic role in that process," Chen said.

Born in Hong Kong and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Chen, 48, joined Sybase, Inc. as president in 1997, and is credited with engineering that company's turnaround and sustained growth and profitability. Chen assumed the role of chairman and CEO of Sybase in 1998. He started his career in technology with Unisys Corp., rising to group vice president and general manager. Before joining Sybase, he was president and CEO of a Bay-area division of Siemens Nixdorf Informationsysteme, A.G., which is headquartered in Germany.

Chen graduated Brown University in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering (with honors), and earned his master's degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in 1979.

Source: The Walt Disney Company

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 03, 2003 9:12 am/pm

Disney Elects New Board Member

Quick quote:
December 3, 2003 - Walt Disney Co., the second-largest U.S. media company, said its board elected John Chen, chief executive of Sybase Inc., as a director after Roy Disney and Stanley Gold resigned as members in the past two days.

The board also declared an annual cash dividend of 21 cents per share, payable on Jan. 6 to shareholders as of Dec. 12, the company said in a statement. With the latest payment, the company will have paid a 21-cent annual dividend for five years in a row.
[...]
Disney shares today fell 59 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $22.58 at the end of NYSE composite trading. The company announced Chen's appointment and the dividend after the close of trading.

< Full details. >




Disney Chooses To Keep Michael Eisner
Economist Predicts Eisner Will Retire


Quick quote:
The Walt Disney Co. has decided that Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner will stay with the company for the immediate future.

Several large shareholders decided they would not join the push led by former vice president Roy Disney to oust Eisner. "It looks like we're not getting a shareholder revolt as we did in the past. It doesn't look like the rest of the board is going to go along with Mr. Disney," said local (Orlando, FL) economist Hank Fishkind. [...] "Ultimately, Michael Eisner will retire. I think he'll be seen in retrospect as one who grew the franchise and gave the shareholder value," said Fishkind.

< Full details. >




Allies turning against him, Disney's Eisner under gun

Quick quote:
With the departures of Gold and Disney, Chen's scheduled arrival in January and the previously announced addition of Yum! Brands Inc. President Aylwin Lewis in January, the board will have nine outside directors and two non-independent directors.

Disney's board met today in New York, and with two once-strong allies turning on him, Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner is being scrutinized.
[...]
Critics say he is loath to share power and has insulated himself from criticism, rewarding executives who play it safe and alienating risk-takers and critics.

< Full details. >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 03, 2003 9:42 am/pm

Newer parks suffered from belt-tightening

Quick quote:
Roy Disney's split from the company his Uncle Walt founded is seen by some observers as a clash over family tradition and a focus on the bottom line -- between Disney magic and Disney dollars. [...] "If you're saying Disney lacks some of the pixie dust it once had, then that's probably true," said Abe Pizam, dean of the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. [...]It's true Eisner has tried to hold construction costs down, one expert said.

"The amount spent on Disney's California Adventure and Hong Kong and Paris is considerably less than they've spent on their other major parks," said the consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect a business relationship with Disney.

Tokyo DisneySea was built at a cost of about $3 billion, but it took only about half as much to build California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. Both parks opened in 2001.

DisneySea had about 4 million visitors its first year and 12 million its second.

California Adventure, however, saw attendance decline from 5 million its opening year to 4.7 million in 2002.

"There's a relationship between dollars spent [on park construction] and attendance," a relationship Eisner probably understood, the consultant said.

"I don't know behind the scenes what Michael Eisner was thinking, . . . [but] I can't be too critical," the consultant said. "Eisner chose a particular direction," a direction that arguably put cost above creativity, the consultant said.

Eisner's emphasis on the company's balance sheet obviously frustrated Disney, said Dennis Speigel of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati.

"Roy has always been the champion of that side of the brain, the creative side," Speigel said.

< Full details. >

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 03, 2003 11:00 am/pm

Over on Laughing Place some of the posters there also visit a WWW site called Animation Nation.  The Laughing Place folks say there is an online petition to support Roy Disney and the animation department.  If you are interested, go to:

< http://www.pruiksma.com/letterofsupport.html >

To be truthful, I don't know how far online petitions would go to show the press or Disney Board members that Disney fans and stockholders are seriously in support of Roy Disney and Stanley Gold.  Personally, I think a postal-type letter mailed to Shamrock Holdings would be more effective.  But if going to the above site seems legitimate and useful for you, then by all means at least check it out.

Some other posters on Laughing Place are proposing a week long boycott of spending any money on anything Disney.  I don't know how effective this action would be other than to make anyone participating feel as though they were doing something vs. nothing.  Take ten steps back from this week's news.  In some ways audiences and consumers have been voting with their feet and pocketbooks for the past few years and with the slowdown in the economy since 2000 people are spending less, looking for value and bang for the buck, and being selective in their consumer choices.  There's disgruntlement, yes, but that is bearing out unevenly in the Disney universe.  Only you can choose what you do and do not like about anything Disney such that you're willing to spend on it or not.  But that is not going to sway a CEO determined to stay the course and meet short term market conditions in movies and other consumer products.  Other boycotts, such as against Orlando by the Southern Baptists, haven't really worked.   Deliberately stopping purchases for a week might give a feeling of "doing something".  But at this time of year people are buying anyway and lots of people don't know about or hear about the advocacy or inclinations of the Disney online fan community.  When you actually go out into the world and talk to people, few read Disney message boards or would care enough to participate in boycotts, or even letter writing.  But on the other hand others may feel and want to act on denying Disney their money in order to make a point.  It's a free country and a free market economy, and if for you this feels the right way to proceed then by all means do so.

I think the most effective thing anyone can practically do is write to Roy E. Disney at Shamrock Holdings, cite his letter of resignation, and offer brief to-the-point support and encouragement.  No books or life stories or gushing, 'cause obviously Roy Disney knows what is going on already.  But concrete letters are tools for Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold to make their best case to others who have influence.

Jim Hill Media is continuing with columns about this business news.  He's had three columns this week so far about it.  Access at:

< http://www.jimhillmedia.com >

And peruse the archives for December 1, 2 and 3 or any future dates if you are reading this posting of mine as a dated older post.  Can't vouch for factualness over there, but Jim's writing is interesting and thought-provoking.

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 03, 2003 2:14 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
I think the most effective thing anyone can practically do is write to Roy E. Disney at Shamrock Holdings, cite his letter of resignation, and offer brief to-the-point support and encouragement.  No books or life stories or gushing, 'cause obviously Roy Disney knows what is going on already.  But concrete letters are tools for Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold to make their best case to others who have influence.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Once again, you put things very intelligently and properly in perspective Carol. :nod:

I agree with you 100%.  

In my personal opinion, internet petitions and not spending for a week just isn't going to do anthing. Heck, the Baptist boycott is still going on and it hasn't managed to accomplish anything concrete despite the good intentions of those people. A week's worth of not spending won't even be noticed. Nothing against anyone who decides to take such actions, of course. :) I just don't think that will have much effect, especially since the internet is basically a hobbyist's thing and is in many ways irrelevant in life - and as such has yet to really be taken seriously by most as a place for important statements and boycotts.

Think of the situation as if it involved a large group of CB radio enthusiasts deciding to boycott something. Granted, many more people have computers than CB radios, but even so if the CB radio enthusiasts kept making broadcast protest statements how many people as a whole would listen or even take it seriously?

The internet can be useful for many things, but it is really overrated and not really that influential. Therefore I personally agree that writing a brief letter of support to Roy would help much better.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 04, 2003 9:38 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

Whoa! Lots of great news to report...

Roy Disney & Stanley Gold working with Steve Jobs & John Lasseter and the Jim Henson family to oust Eisner?

Quick quote:
"Roy and Stanley are trying to make Michael Eisner himself the issue. ...Disney and Gold have supposedly been meeting quietly with members of the Henson family for months now. It's even been suggested that Roy and Stanley may have played a part in the family's decision to suddenly buy back the Jim Henson Company this past May, rather than allow the Muppets to be sold off to Mickey. ...Disney and Gold (or their representatives) have supposedly been met quietly with the Henson family over the past few weeks. ...the Walt Disney Company is reportedly looking to get into a long term production deal with the Jim Henson Company -- with the Mouse releasing and promoting a wide variety of movies, videos and TV shows that the Frog produces. Furthermore, should the above arrangement prove to be pleasant, professional and financially beneficial to both corporations, the door might once again swing open for acquisition. As in: The Henson family would allegedly agree to sell the Jim Henson Company -- lock, stock and Fozzie Bear-el -- to the Walt Disney Company. So what's the catch? The Henson family will supposedly only agree to the above arrangement IF Michael Eisner is out as head of the Walt Disney Company. You see the strategy that's emerging here? "Michael Eisner can't get Steve Jobs to agree to a Pixar contract extension. But Roy Disney -- who's a friend of John Lasseter -- can." And "Michael Eisner missed out on closing a deal to acquire the Jim Henson Company (again) in May. But the Henson family is willing once more to do business with the Walt Disney Company ... provided that Michael Eisner is out of the picture.""

< Full details. >




Support for Eisner eroding, even from within

Quick quote:
Harvey Weinstein, the co-chairman of Miramax Pictures: "All the great executives have been driven from the company. I think there is no camaraderie anymore, no great esprit de corps that I found earlier. I think there was more risk-taking, a more fun company. I don't know why, and it's sad that it is."

Marty Sklar, Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, at an IAAPA seminar Sklar spoke at last month, when asked about what his thoughts were about Disney's California Adventure: "I think that you're nuts to build a park next to Disneyland that's half the size and charge the same amount of money."

"When people like Harvey Weinstein and Marty Sklar -- men that Michael Eisner helped make rich and powerful -- start complaining about how tough things are nowadays at the Walt Disney Company these days, you know that Eisner's REALLY in trouble."

< Full details. >




Roy Disney Sees Groundswell in Rebellion

Quick quote:
Roy Disney's rebellion against the management of Walt Disney Co. has found fertile ground among small shareholders and average "folks," the former director said on Wednesday. ..."There is a kind of a groundswell out there," Disney said, describing an outpouring of support from small investors and employees at the company, where he was the last founding family member in senior management. "The response from folks is astonishing. I am absolutely boggled by it," he said. ...Eisner, he argues, has not invested in theme parks as he should, and the board of directors was ineffective. "The upkeep down in Disneyland is sickening," he said, adding that the company under Eisner had built "half a park" but charged full-park prices at California Adventure, the theme park opened next to Disneyland in Southern California. ...Roy Disney referred to average folks, however, such as smaller investors who had held Disney for years or decades. "I think they are the ones who will be the most vociferous" in support, he said. Disney said he wanted to "present the idea that there is a better future." He and Gold say it is too early to talk specifics. Disney concluded that those who said he could not succeed reminded him of doubters in 1984, when he resigned from the board to force a change in management. Six months later he succeeded in getting Eisner named CEO and chairman. "The things that need to happen tend to happen," he said.

< Full details. >




Sign a Letter of Support for Roy and Stanley

A letter of support for Roy Disney and Stanley Gold from three former Disney employees (supervising animator Dave Pruiksma, Steve Moore and Tim Hauser) asks for others to sign (online) in support of them, too, at animator Dave Pruiksma's website. many of the big names who worked at Disney in the '80s and '90s have added their names to the list including Pres Romanillos, Gary Trousdale, Dave Brewster, Tony Anselmo, Gaetan Brizzi, Dave Spafford, Brenda Chapman, Bill Kroyer, and Tom and Pat Sito.

< Full details. >




Roy Disney talks about his resignation on CNN's Paula Zahn show
Roy Disney discusses his resignation with CNN's Paula Zahn
Tonight's Paula Zahn Now features an exclusive interview with Roy Disney.  Watch for the transcript to appear < here >.




Disney shares slide amid board tussle

The December 3rd Hollywood Reporter reports that Disney shares continue to decline as influential analysts express concern over the impact the vocal departures of Roy E Disney
and Stanley P Gold.

< Full details. >




Disney Moves On After Resignations
Disney's board of directors began their dinner meeting venting over the departures of Disney and Gold, glad that vocal critics are gone from the board.

< Full details. > (Free registration required to view the article.)

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 04, 2003 1:35 am/pm

:clapping:
Posted by: mickeyvw98 on Dec. 04, 2003 3:08 am/pm

I second that! :clapping:
Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 04, 2003 8:08 am/pm

Roy E. Disney's 12/3/03 Letter to Cast Members

Roy E. Disney sent a letter to Disney Cast Members on December 3rd explaining why he resigned from Disney’s Board of Directors and resigned as Chairman of Disney’s Animation Department. He explains how he feels Michael Eisner has lost sight "the dream born of Walt and my father ... the vision upon which this Company was founded," how he recentlywas prevented from attending the Animation Department screening of three pending feature animation projects. He also thanked the Cast Members for helping "make the magic and wonder that is Disney."

The letter was sent by Roy via e-mail from the office at his investment company (< Shamrock Holdings, Inc. >) to friends and colleagues, including senior executives in the Company's feature animation and theme park divisions in California and Orlando plus the Walt Disney Imagineering research group.

< Read his letter to the Cast Members in this Adobe Acrobat pdf file >, or simply read the text below:




ROY EDWARD DISNEY

December 3, 2003

Dear Disney Cast Members,

It was nearly 20 years ago that a small group of us recognized that dramatic changes were necessary to reinvigorate and reenergize the Disney Company. We changed the composition of the Board and assembled a new leadership team headed by Frank Wells and Michael Eisner. I returned to the Disney cast and, working as a team, we planted the seeds that rekindled the spirit and creativity that is synonymous with Disney. Those efforts paid off handsomely in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Once again, Disney was admired for the wholesome family entertainment it brought to millions of people of all ages. Together we created the dreams and excitement that made Disney respected and beloved throughout the world. We succeeded in recapturing the dream born of Walt and my father and the heritage they left to us.

Sadly, times have changed. Michael Eisner has lost sight of the vision upon which this Company was founded. The focus has shifted to the chase for the quick buck instead of a dedication to new and high quality ideas, the development of enduring value. This has lead to division within the Disney workforce, a revolving door of managers, and the exodus of too many of our most creative and inspired employees.

For the last several years, Michael Eisner has done his utmost to isolate me from the members of Disney’s Animation Department and exclude me from participation in decision making regarding the Department. Most recently, I was prevented from even attending the Animation Department screening of three pending feature animation projects. The collegiality and openness that once typified the Disney workplace has been destroyed.

It is against this backdrop that I had no choice but to resign as Chairman of Disney’s Animation Department and as a member of Disney’s Board of Directors. This has been a very painful decision. I am torn between my duties and loyalties to all of you who have made my journey so memorable and special, and the need to preserve the Disney heritage for future generations. However, I cannot stand idle as the heart and soul of this Company is being systematically eliminated by senior management protected by an ineffective Board of Directors. This is a Board that seeks to avoid the constructive tension necessary to guide management through difficult times. Instead, it is a Board that seeks to stifle dissent and, to that end, has asked me to leave the Board of Directors.

Although this is not how and when I would have liked to leave the Disney Company, I assure you that I view it not as an isolated and sad event, but as part of a process. I hope it is not too late for the Disney Board of Directors to finally recognize that fundamental change is needed to restore the Disney luster, nurture and protect the wonderful characters that together we have developed and, most importantly, to create the environment within the workplace necessary to give life to new Disney icons  or the generations to come.

As I now set off on a different course, I cannot fail to publicly and openly once again express to all of you my most heartfelt thanks. I am grateful that we have shared this journey. Without you, your contributions and camaraderie we would not have been able to make the magic and wonder that is Disney. I hope that one day soon the Disney Board gets the message.

Yours faithfully,
Roy E. Disney

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 04, 2003 8:11 am/pm

Steve Jobs to star as Eisner's worst nightmare in next Pixar production

There is a possibility that Steve Jobs could replace Roy Disney.

< Full details. >




Eisner's "Very Repressive Regime"

Read excerpts from an interview with Roy E Disney about his
resignation.

< Full details. >




Mice Behaving Badly
An article about the battle between Roy Disney and Michael Eisner.

< Full details. >

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 04, 2003 11:31 am/pm

About Steve Jobs coming over to Disney:  Jobs seems to like Apple Computers and Pixar.  His coming over to Disney isn't out of the realm of possibility, but doesn't seem likely at this time.

About Roy Disney's interview with Business Week:  I think Roy is echoing the points in his resignation letter.  I would like to hear more specific things Roy Disney and Stanley Gold find disappointing or wrong direction of the Disney company, as well as their proposed solutions for fixing what they say are problems or wrong directions.  

About the "Mice Behaving Badly" article:  Loved this one.  Basically it echoes Jim Hill's and Al Lutz's articles on their respective sites, that this is a long and nasty public fued spilling out.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 05, 2003 9:08 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

Carol found this on LaughingPlace's forum, said to be a letter Michael Eisner sent to Disney Cast Members and written by him on the plane while on the way back to Disneyland's CMs Christmas Party after he attended the NYC Disney Board meeting. There's no mention of the high profile resignations of Roy Disney and Stanley Gold -- nor of the DOSH report finding fault with Disneyland's maintenance of Big Thunder Mountain -- in the letter.




12-3-03 Update and Thank You

12/03/2003 -

Dear Fellow Cast Member:
I'm writing to you from a plane on my way to Disneyland for tonight's annual employee Christmas party, having just wrapped up two days of regularly scheduled meetings with your Company's board of directors. As you might guess, the board spent a great deal of time reviewing the results of all our hard work, and it's a privilege for me to tell you that the creativity, innovation and dedication displayed by each of you are paying off.

Disney was not alone in its struggle to navigate the tough economic and international waters of late — companies and individuals across America and around the world have had to work harder and longer. At Disney, the countless hours our employees put in over the past year were certainly worth the effort, and I'm happy to report the results are extremely encouraging.

First, congratulations to The Walt Disney Studios on making industry history by becoming the first studio to surpass $3 billion in global box office receipts for 2003. With Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Nemo, Freaky Friday, Bringing Down the House and a string of other great Disney/Touchstone films paving the way, the studio has enjoyed a phenomenal year. In home entertainment, the benefits of increased DVD player penetration and the tremendous strength of our content have brought us recent record-breaking sales for The Lion King and Finding Nemo DVD releases. In fact, the combined current releases of Finding Nemo and The Lion King have already exceeded 30 million units, and yesterday's Pirates of the Caribbean DVD release is already off to a tremendous start.

The ABC Television Network team has made solid progress with its prime time schedule. Over the last 2-1/2 years, the network has successfully added an unprecedented 10 comedies to its primetime schedule. Versus regular competition, all 10 of ABC's comedies rank either first or second in their respective time periods in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic (eight rank #1 and two rank #2). Just as important, these young comedies are building blocks that will form the groundwork for the future of the network. While there is clearly more work that needs to be done, we are pleased with the results the ABC team has shown thus far. In cable, ESPN's ratings were up 13% in 2003, and ESPN and ESPN2 had their highest viewership ever in October, up 39% over the same month last year. Disney Channel had its best year ever with ratings up 47% among Kids 6-11, propelling the network to #1 among Kids 6-14. Disney Channel has also evolved into a new engine of creative and franchise development with the introduction of new Company-wide properties such as Kim Possible, That's So Raven, Stanley and Lizzie McGuire. And we are equally focused on delivering growth from our other cable assets, including ABC Family, Toon Disney, our international Disney Channels and SOAPnet.

At Parks and Resorts, we're pleased to see continued signs of the gradual recovery in attendance that we have been expecting. Having just completed an extended period of investment, making each location worldwide a multi-day resort destination, Disney continues to strategically invest with the addition of new "E-ticket" attractions such as Mission: SPACE, one of our greatest technological and creative achievements, which had its grand opening in October.

As we discussed in our last quarter earnings call, the Consumer Products licensing business has experienced solid growth. One of Consumer Products' greatest successes has been its Disney Princess line of merchandise, which has grown from $100 million in worldwide sales in 2000 to $1.3 billion in 2003.

I hope these results will add to your enthusiasm and renew your energy for the coming year because, as Walt put it, "if any of you start resting on your laurels, I mean just forget it, because . . . we are just getting started."

We still have a lot of work ahead, but I could not be more confident in the team we have to meet these challenges. And we will not be distracted from what has been and must remain our sole focus — delivering growth and shareholder value.

There's no question that together we've made Disney the worldwide leader in quality, family entertainment. We've taken the strength of the Disney brand, nurtured it and built a wonderful array of assets that touch the lives of people in every corner of the globe. Of course, in creating and growing this fantastic enterprise, the most important assets of all are the people who make the magic happen . . . you!

I thank you and keep up the great work!

Michael

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 05, 2003 10:23 am/pm

Gee... Eisner wrote that letter to CM's on the same day as Roy Disney wrote a letter to CM's. But because Eisner's was written after the board meeting, his was written after Disney's was.

Strange how Eisner's letter includes a thanks to CM's who make the magic, when Disney's letter also thanked the CM's with similar working earlier in the day...

Hmmm...

Eisner: "Of course, in creating and growing this fantastic enterprise, the most important assets of all are the people who make the magic happen . . . you!"

Disney: "As I now set off on a different course, I cannot fail to publicly and openly once again express to all of you my most heartfelt thanks. I am grateful that we have shared this journey. Without you, your contributions and camaraderie we would not have been able to make the magic and wonder that is Disney. I hope that one day soon the Disney Board gets the message."

There's been some talk that Eisner might not have actually write that, and that it is a standard type of holiday rah-rah message given to "the troops" -- most likely written much earlierwith the latest company statistics inserted into it. Well, if that's the case, the thanks to the CM's could also have easily been inserted into it after seeing Roy Disney's thanks to the CM's which came out earlier that day.

Posted by: CarolKoster on Dec. 06, 2003 10:08 am/pm

Rich:  On another Disney site I read a post from someone who does PR for a large corporation.  These year-end CEO-to-the-employees year-end holiday rah-rah-type letters get drafted weeks in advance and express any general good news and progressive news there's been, thanks for the hard work and appreciation to the employees.  If it sounds good, the "boss" signs it and OKs it for distribution.  The person posting seemed to know the business and process of it and it sounded solid.  We've been on the receiving end of corporate home office stuff where Rich works and these things with variations read the same.

On another matter:

The online petition I mentioned in an earlier post now has, on it's WWW site, a message saying they were informed access to the site from internally at Disney has been blocked.  If you are of a mind to participate in that petition, you can do so from home or other Internet connections than from Disney.  There is also a new deadline for submissions, of Midnight December 9th.  If this is of interest, here it is, otherwise simply ignore.  The site is:

< http://www.pruiksma.com/letterofsupport.html >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 06, 2003 12:07 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
These year-end CEO-to-the-employees year-end holiday rah-rah-type letters get drafted weeks in advance and express any general good news and progressive news there's been, thanks for the hard work and appreciation to the employees.  If it sounds good, the "boss" signs it and OKs it for distribution.  
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


And if that is the case, Eisner was lying when he wrote that he wrote that on the airplane then, iddn't he?

I'm not disagreeing that Eisner could have signed off on that letter without writing most of it or even any of it -- he might have changed a word or two here to be able to say he "wrote" it.

My point is that I'm suspicious about the part where the Cast Members are thanked because to me it is very interesting that he decided to put out his own letter to CMs and on the very same day Roy Disney distributed his (to as many Disney employees as he could, asking all to pass it along to all the CMs they could, since he no longer has internet access at The Walt Disney Co. because he resigned). I'm suspicious of the way Eisner thanked them for creating the magic when Roy's letter which came out earlier on the same day also expressed the same sentiments.

Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 06, 2003 12:17 am/pm

The < transcript of the Paula Zahn Now show which includes the interview with Roy Disney > is online now. Scroll down about 7/8ths of that page for the start of the interview.
Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 08, 2003 1:47 am/pm

Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold have started the [url=http://www.savedisney.com]SaveDisney.com website which includes their official resignation letters to Disney as well as email address where you can email Roy and Stanley directly.

Check out the news about this by clicking here.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 08, 2003 2:06 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

Carol found a very good commentary column on CBSMarketwatch.com posting the original article on The Motley Fool.com.

I'll do a quick quote of it here, followed by a link to the entire article, which I highly encourage you to read.

Dear Eisner
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz

It's not easy being you. You're Michael Eisner. You're running the corporate equivalent of the New York Yankees. Expectations run high. Every move is watched and publicly dissected. Anything less than victorious perfection and a commitment to quality taints the heritage and attracts the forked tongue.

Welcome to the Yankees, Eisner. Everyone's a Steinbrenner.

It's not fair, you say. Disney can't please everybody, yet it is somehow expected to do just that. The same park-happy woman that starts off her day riding Dumbo and would picket its potential closure is slamming you in online newsgroups for adding similar rides like Aladdin's Magic Carpet or Animal Kingdom's Triceratops Spin. The folks who claim that Disney should go back to making G-rated theatrical family fare and are quick to mutter "boycott Disney" didn't turn out in convincing numbers to see The Country Bears, The Straight Story, or [/i]Piglet's Big Movie[/i].

If you haven't figured it out yet, Michael, you can't win. Travelers want you to spend more to upgrade your theme parks while your bean counters want you to spend less. Purists want more wholesome filmed entertainment while the movie-going masses are favoring flicks with explosions and flatulence jokes. There is no compromise. There is no lowest common denominator.

While the same two men who brought you into the company two decades ago resigned this week -- and asked you to follow suit -- something tells me that you won't. Either you don't realize the size of the angry mob of Disney traditionalists trailing behind your wake, or you think that you can fix this mess and walk away wearing glass slippers.

If you don't feel the heat yet, just see what happens if you let Pixar get away. Want more media-injected venom? Drive a bigger wedge between Disney and the Weinsteins at Miramax. Let ABC continue to parlay its languishing future by airing The Bachelor -- or better yet, Monday Night Football -- four nights a week. Replace the park castles with Wal-Mart Supercenters.

But if things can get worse, one can reason that they can probably also get better. No, you still can't win. Give up on that notion, sir. However, if you don't mind settling for a draw -- and the way things are going for feature animation, a draw would be welcome on many different levels -- read on.
[...]
Are you going to tell me that the same company that was able to dish out tens of millions to kiss off the likes of Michael Ovitz and Jeffrey Katzenberg doesn't have enough jingle in petty cash to keep Carousel of Progress open year round? If Disney is the world's premiere theme park company, why is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man sitting on Universal's lot?

To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, Disney's not bad -- it's just overdrawn that way. Animal Kingdom should have been more than just a half-day park by now. Disney's California Adventure should have been more than half of a half-day park by now. Build a park right the first time, not like the last time. When Disney raises the bar, as it has with its cruise ships, water parks, and rides like Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror or Splash Mountain, the floored competition can't manage a chin-up.

Before I go, Roy Disney and Stanley Gold wanted me to let you know that a chummy board of directors is useless. Life isn't about the friends you make. It's about the enemies you don't make. If you think there is more value to the praise posse that surrounds you than the talented executives who bolted because you replaced glass slippers with glass ceilings, you better check the currency exchange tables.

< Full article. >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 08, 2003 11:11 am/pm

Eisner's "Very Repressive Regime"

Life at the Mouse House is "just awful," insists Roy Disney, who says he quit the board to encourage a shareholder revolt

In an interview with BusinessWeek Online on Dec. 2, former Disney vice-chairman Roy Disney talks about why he chose to resign his board seat, his run-ins with Eisner, the company's relationship with animation giant -- and potential rival -- Pixar, and how Eisner demanded that Chicken Little get a sex change.

< [b]Full details.
>

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 10, 2003 1:58 am/pm

Disney Animation Producer Don Hahn feels the pain in the Disney family feud

Don Hahn, producer of "The Haunted Mansion" film as well as "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" weighs in on Roy Disney's resignation and Roy's call for Eisner to resign, rumors of Disney's D-MGM animation studios closing, and the future of traditional animation at Disney

< Full details. >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 10, 2003 3:00 am/pm

Eisner's Wild, Wild Ride

Disney's CEO is a survivor, but now he's under attack from an heir to the kingdom. A look at the battle ahead


Quick quote from Dec. 15, 2003 issue of TIME magazine:
In the case of his growing estrangement from his longtime supporter Roy Disney, the final squabble came in a conversation a week before Thanksgiving over the Magic Kingdom heir's right to attend screenings of cartoons in development. "These were big screenings with like 100 people in the room, and he didn't want me there for some convoluted reason," Disney told TIME. "I griped about it, and we had some words." Then, like one of his Uncle Walt's animated boilers, Disney exploded.

Eisner, 61, has crushed numerous revolts in his 19-year reign as chief of the Walt Disney Co., but he has never faced a rebel quite like this — an angry major shareholder who bears the company's name and a deep sense of betrayal by the chief Mouseketeer.

< Full details. >

Posted by: utilidor27 on Dec. 11, 2003 12:16 am/pm

Having read all these posts, I want to issue a quick apology for any support I may have issued for Mr. Eisner over the last 10 or so years. It would appear that the glossy shine of the company was merely a glazing over of the deeper problems that lay underneath, and that had I had the opportunity to have been as informed as I am now, my opinion would not have been as rosy. When Michael (M.E.) first entered the company, he brought revitalization, but unfortunately, he also opened the door to a very nasty thing - greed. Whether he remains is yet to be seen, but I have faith that right shall prevail.

That said, I wish Roy Disney and Stanley Gold the best in their attempt to restore Disney back to a company centered on the right principles, values, and moral standards set by it's founder.

Hang in there folks, as long as there is a standard bearer, there is hope. :mickey:

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 11, 2003 3:26 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
Having read all these posts, I want to issue a quick apology for any support I may have issued for Mr. Eisner over the last 10 or so years. It would appear that the glossy shine of the company was merely a glazing over of the deeper problems that lay underneath, and that had I had the opportunity to have been as informed as I am now, my opinion would not have been as rosy. When Michael (M.E.) first entered the company, he brought revitalization, but unfortunately, he also opened the door to a very nasty thing - greed. Whether he remains is yet to be seen, but I have faith that right shall prevail.

That said, I wish Roy Disney and Stanley Gold the best in their attempt to restore Disney back to a company centered on the right principles, values, and moral standards set by it's founder.

Hang in there folks, as long as there is a standard bearer, there is hope. :mickey:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


:clapping:
:thumbsup:

Posted by: utilidor27 on Dec. 11, 2003 3:41 am/pm

Thanks alot Goofyteer. That means alot, and believe me it is heartfelt. I hope everyone out here has the chance to visit Roy and Stanley's Website. I e-mailed them my support, and I personally invited them to add the Disney Echo to their list of Web-Site listings (hope you don't mind Rich). Maybe they can look in and see how many of us there are here supporting them.
:mickey:

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 11, 2003 8:23 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
I personally invited them to add the Disney Echo to their list of Web-Site listings (hope you don't mind Rich).
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


I thank you for that, even though I also emailed them with that request as well. Can't hurt to have them hear from more Disney EchoEars than just me.
:clap:

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 11, 2003 8:50 am/pm

Eisner gets quiet backing in Disney board fight

Quick quote:
Disney on Wednesday said profits could grow 30 percent or more in fiscal 2004 ending in September, implying a half-penny share more than it forecast in late November, and Disney projected its beleaguered ABC TV network would profit in 2005.

Financial analysts can find fault with Eisner's management style, some big bad investments, and the the fact that Disney shares are trading at about the same level they were seven years ago. Moreover, after a nearly 40 percent rise this year, the stock is no longer widely seen as cheap.
[...]
Walt Disney's nephew, Roy Disney, abruptly resigned from the board on Nov. 30, after learning he would be forced into mandatory retirement, and began a campaign to oust Eisner.

He offered a seven-item list criticizing Eisner for issues from micromanaging to driving out talent, saying "the company has lost its focus, its creative energy, and its heritage." Roy Disney has also established Web site (< http://www.savedisney.com >) to focus protest.

< Full details. >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 12, 2003 8:11 am/pm

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

All of the Disney Treasures DVD releases have had Roy E. Disney's signature on them.

Will Wave 3 also have Roy's signature or is the allegation true that Michael Eisner has ordered Roy's name be removed from the Disney Treasures DVDs before they are released?

Well, < in an article on JimHillMedia.com >, Jim Hill reports this may be true. According to his sources at Disney, "Eisner -- in a fit of pique -- allegedly ordered early last month that Roy E. Disney's name be stricken from the packaging of the "Disney Treasures" DVDs. And that -- in addition -- that supposedly an effort should be made to lessen and/or remove any additional references to any or all contributions that Walt's nephew had made to the Walt Disney Company."

< Full details. >

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 13, 2003 2:07 am/pm

If Michael Eisner leaves Disney, he'd get $24 million in cash as a going away gift:
Eisner has shiny golden parachute

:dollar:
Quick quote:
Here's how the Big Mouse's easy landing would work: Let's say Eisner leaves Disney in January, terminating his contract for "good reason." His agreement entitles him to a "post-termination" annual bonus of at least $6 million for each year remaining in the agreement -- which would be two -- plus two additional years of bonus, according to Disney's annual proxy statement.

For those keeping track, that's four years' bonus. It's cut to three years if he takes a position at another major entertainment concern.

Oh, and one more thing: Eisner's employment agreement gave him options for 24 million shares of stock.

< Full details. >

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 13, 2003 4:54 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

All of the Disney Treasures DVD releases have had Roy E. Disney's signature on them.

Will Wave 3 also have Roy's signature or is the allegation true that Michael Eisner has ordered Roy's name be removed from the Disney Treasures DVDs before they are released?

Well, < in an article on JimHillMedia.com >, Jim Hill reports this may be true. According to his sources at Disney, "Eisner -- in a fit of pique -- allegedly ordered early last month that Roy E. Disney's name be stricken from the packaging of the "Disney Treasures" DVDs. And that -- in addition -- that supposedly an effort should be made to lessen and/or remove any additional references to any or all contributions that Walt's nephew had made to the Walt Disney Company."

< Full details. >
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


:o  :Oo:  :cry:  :Oo:  :o  

If this turns out to be true...

I just might cancel my own advance orders for those dvd sets in protest! If that turns out to be true I will not be able to express my anger and disgust at Eisner enough. It takes a lot to get me that mad but Eisner will have done it if this is true!
:angry:

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 13, 2003 4:58 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
Thanks alot Goofyteer. That means alot, and believe me it is heartfelt.  :mickey:
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You're very welcome. :mickey:

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 13, 2003 2:34 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
:o  :Oo:  :cry:  :Oo:  :o  

If this turns out to be true...

I just might cancel my own advance orders for those dvd sets in protest! If that turns out to be true I will not be able to express my anger and disgust at Eisner enough. It takes a lot to get me that mad but Eisner will have done it if this is true!
:angry:

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, check your anger because there's one thing you need to realize.

With his resignation from the board of directors as well as his resignation as head of the animation department at Disney, Roy no longer works for Disney in any capacity. So if the Disney company would use his name in that way now, he could sue the company for using his name/signature/endorsement without having the legal right to do so.

Now, a contract could be made for Disney to have the right to use his signature on those DVDs, but given the current feelings between Roy and Michael, I doubt they'd come to an agreement over a contract like that.

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 13, 2003 4:00 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------


---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------
:o  :Oo:  :cry:  :Oo:  :o  

If this turns out to be true...

I just might cancel my own advance orders for those dvd sets in protest! If that turns out to be true I will not be able to express my anger and disgust at Eisner enough. It takes a lot to get me that mad but Eisner will have done it if this is true!
:angry:
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


Well, check your anger because there's one thing you need to realize.

With his resignation from the board of directors as well as his resignation as head of the animation department at Disney, Roy no longer works for Disney in any capacity. So if the Disney company would use his name in that way now, he could sue the company for using his name/signature/endorsement without having the legal right to do so.

Now, a contract could be made for Disney to have the right to use his signature on those DVDs, but given the current feelings between Roy and Michael, I doubt they'd come to an agreement over a contract like that.
---------------------QUOTE-------------------


You're right, I didn't think of that. :Oo:
I'd be the first to admit I don't know much about legalities and politics. This is a more knotty situation than I thought, guess I figured Roy already had the right to have his name on it since it's his family's company.

You're very right, excellent point :nod: That feels so weird, the idea that Roy could sue if they now use his name without permission. Gotta get used to the idea! :laugh:

I wonder if Roy had already made some sort of agreement on paper about his signatures and all that for the dvds before all this started? Or would such an agreement no longer be void since the dvds haven't been released?

Oh well, guess we'll wait and see what happens. A friend once told me years ago "rumors are rumors, if they were truth they wouldn't be called rumors now would they?"
:nod:

I guess it was the "Eisner's in a fit of pique" thing that got me but I'm sure you guys can understand why.

Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 15, 2003 11:31 am/pm

Behind the Disney Magic

Quick quote:
Valenti told the crowd that an investor who bought $10,000 of Disney stock when Eisner took the helm in 1984 would be sitting on more than $220,000 today. [...] The trouble is, few investors hold on to their shares for that long. And though the long-term return has been stellar, it masks the much weaker performance of the stock over the last five years... Roy Disney quipped that shareholders would have been better off putting their money in a savings account over the last seven years.

< Full details. > (Free registration required to view.)




Disney Tells Animators It Ain't Over Yet!


Well is wasn’t exactly Santa Claus who attended the Animation Guild’s holiday open house party on Dec. 12, 2003 but it was just about as anticipated and welcome amongst animators when Roy E. Disney strode into the banquet room at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California. The huge crowd rose to its feet and parted like the Red Sea for Moses... Disney reminded animators to be true to their art and their passion, saluted them for their dedication and thanked everyone present for helping him revive Disney animation. He concluded with the salvo, “It ain’t over yet!” to which he received a thunderous ovation.

< Full details. >




“It Ain't Over Yet!”

Pictures and commentary by Harvey Deneroff about Roy Disney's appearance at the Animation Guild's holiday party.

< Full details. >

Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 16, 2003 8:40 am/pm



---------------------QUOTE BEGIN-------------------



Disney Tells Animators It Ain't Over Yet!


Well is wasn’t exactly Santa Claus who attended the Animation Guild’s holiday open house party on Dec. 12, 2003 but it was just about as anticipated and welcome amongst animators when Roy E. Disney strode into the banquet room at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California. The huge crowd rose to its feet and parted like the Red Sea for Moses... Disney reminded animators to be true to their art and their passion, saluted them for their dedication and thanked everyone present for helping him revive Disney animation. He concluded with the salvo, “It ain’t over yet!” to which he received a thunderous ovation.

---------------------QUOTE-------------------


:clapping:  :clapping:  :clapping:  :clapping:  :clapping:  :clapping:  :clapping:
Posted by: Goofyteer on Dec. 16, 2003 8:55 am/pm

I wanted to drop a quick note before I head off to work. I wanted to say I hope I didn't accidentally annoy or upset Rich or Carol or anyone else when I had made my statement last week about being peeved over Michael Eisner's possibly erasing Roy Disney's name from the upcoming dvd sets. I realised later after writing it I was probably coming across as sounding too sharp in my comments on the situation. I apologise to everyone if my wording was uncalled for. :blush2:
Posted by: RichKoster on Dec. 16, 2003 9:16 am/pm

No, not at all, Chris. Don't worry.

I had the same initial reaction when I heard about it -- then when I dug a little deeper I found out about the legal issues involved to using Roy's name now that he's just a stockholder and not employed by The Walt Disney Company.

I still can't get over that this is the first time in the history of the company that no Disney family member is at Disney at all. It would be different if they had all died, but certainly this is not the case so I still find it shocking that Eisner pushed Roy off the board.

end


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