New Disney Investor Targeting Board Member In Messy Proxy Battle

the walt disney company
The Walt Disney Company / Credit: Disney

Less than two months after Bob Chapek was fired from his position as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Susan Arnold announced that she was stepping down as the Chairperson of Disney’s Board of Directors. Arnold was Disney’s first female Chairperson of the Board and, during her tenure, always publicly supported Chapek, and even encouraged the Board to extend his contract. When Ms. Arnold’s departure was announced, it was also announced that Mark Parker — a former creative executive at Nike and fellow board member — would be taking over as Chairman of the Board.

Mark Parker

Credit: Mark Parker

Almost as soon as Parker was made the new Chairman of the Board, an investor came forward saying that he wanted the seat left vacant by Parker. That investor was Nelson Peltz, and he thought that he could make Disney more profitable than it already was. Peltz was vocal in his opposition to Bob Iger being reappointed as CEO and also said that if Disney could not immediately make Disney+ successful, they should get out of the streaming game. Disney has been honest from the beginning that Disney+ won’t see a profit until 2024.

Nelson Peltz

Credit: CNBC

Peltz didn’t make the best impression on Disney, and his bid for a board seat was shot down, with Disney saying that Peltz had no idea how their business operated. However, Peltz is not giving up. In fact, he’s going in even more, now targeting another board member, wanting his seat. According to new information from The Hollywood Reporter, Peltz is targeting longtime board member Michael Froman:

On Thursday, Peltz’s firm released a proxy form and began messaging Disney shareholders, urging them to withhold votes for Froman, and to vote for Peltz instead.

Trian also released a new open letter to Disney shareholders, tweaking its messaging in a subtle but critical way: In its initial presentation, Trian focused on the performance of Disney CEO Bob Iger and his predecessor Bob Chapek. In the new letter, Trian is targeting Disney’s board, calling out Disney’s declining stock price and EPS in 2022, as well as its decision to cancel its dividend, adding that “it is clear the Board of Directors has caused this recent destruction of value.”

“As the owners of this great company, we must act,” the letter continues. “The current Disney directors wake up with challenging day jobs: building cars, selling clothing, processing credit card transactions, sequencing genes. All important things. But these accomplished directors are busy and we believe they cannot possibly focus sufficiently on Disney to ensure that 2023 and 2024 are nothing like 2022. If they could, 2022 would not have been like 2022.”
Michael Froman

Credit: Associated Press

Throughout his distinguished career, Froman has not only worked for companies like Citigroup, but also for the government, holding positions in the White House and also the Treasury Department.

Peltz and his team have not made clear why they are targeting Froman.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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