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Topic: Roy Disney quits/Eisner tries to erase Roy's name?, Roy's signature won't be on Wave 3 DVDs?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 10:39 am/pm Quote

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.

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Carol Koster
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 1:06 am/pm Quote

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


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Carol Koster
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 2:03 am/pm Quote

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.

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Carol Koster
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 7:30 am/pm Quote

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.


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Carol Koster
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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 7:33 am/pm Quote

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.


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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 7:37 am/pm Quote

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


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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 7:42 am/pm Quote

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.


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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 7:48 am/pm Quote

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


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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 10:22 am/pm Quote

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.

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:


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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: Dec. 01, 2003 11:03 am/pm Quote

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:


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