The Walt Disney Company On Wednesday he named Mark Parker, CEO of Nikethe next chairman, while also announcing that he opposes activist investor Nelson Peltz’s bid to join the board.
Disney’s ads suggest the potential for a big, messy fight. Nearly two months ago, Peltz’s Trian Fund Management acquired nearly $800 million from the company and began looking for a seat on the board. Triann reportedly wants to make operational improvements and cut costs, and has expressed opposition to reappointing Bob Iger as CEO of Disney.
“While the Walt Disney Company’s senior leadership and its board of directors have reached out to Mr. Peltz several times over the past several months, the board of directors does not endorse the Trian Group’s nominee, and is recommending that shareholders not support its nominee, and instead vote for all of the company’s nominees,” Disney said in a statement. Released on Wednesday.
Peltz is set to reveal more in a filing later Wednesday, CNBC’s David Faber reports.
Disney’s new drama comes after a rough year for shares of the entertainment giant as soaring broadcast costs and a slim slate of theatrical releases have sapped profits. Shares of the company closed Wednesday at $96.33. A year ago, Disney was trading at about $160 a share.
Parker, who remains CEO of Nike, will succeed Susan Arnold. Each 15-year limit at Disney will expire after the company’s next annual meeting of shareholders. The date of the meeting has not yet been announced. Disney’s board of directors will be reduced to 11 members after Arnold’s departure.
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“During his four decades at Nike, Mark has led one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands through various market developments and a successful CEO transition, and he is uniquely positioned to chair the Disney board of directors during this period of transformation,” said Arnold. Wednesday statement. Parker was a member of Disney’s board of directors for seven years.
Iger’s stunning return in November came with the promise of a two-year stint that would spur renewed growth. The CEO also plans to help find his next successor, following the collapse of the tenure of his handpicked former replacement, Bob Chapek.
Disney previously announced company-wide cost-cutting measures in November, including banning travel for all but essential work and freezing new hires for all but a few critical jobs. Egger endorsed the hiring freeze when he returned to the company’s presidency later that month.
“Mr. Iger’s mission is to use his two years and depth of industry experience to adapt the business model to the changing media landscape, rebalancing the investment and revenue opportunity with a renewed focus on the creative talent that made The Walt Disney the envy of the industry.”
CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report.