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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 >

Goofyteer Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 1:34 am/pm Quote

Quote (RichKoster @ 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.

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:

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.


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Chris T. / Goofyteer
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 2:30 am/pm Quote

Quote (Goofyteer @ Dec. 02, 2003 12:34 am/pm)
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.

And I third that!
:wwww:


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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 10:43 am/pm Quote

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! :(


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Eric utilidor27
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 3:58 am/pm Quote

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)?


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Carol Koster
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CHarrower Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 4:46 am/pm Quote

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.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 10:23 am/pm Quote

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.


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RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 02, 2003 11:02 am/pm Quote

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!


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utilidor27 Offline

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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 1:29 am/pm Quote

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:


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Eric utilidor27
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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 2:17 am/pm Quote

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
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 9:12 am/pm Quote

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.
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83 replies since Nov. 30, 2003 6:39 am/pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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