“Embattled Walt Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner on Wednesday was stripped of his role as chairman, but kept his position as chief executive even after 43 percent of shareholders voted against him in an unprecedented protest,” Reuters reports.
Reuters reports., “Convening in Philadelphia after a stormy annual meeting, Disney’s board said it had elected former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell as the company’s chairman. It said 61-year-old Eisner had its unanimous backing as Disney’s top executive after a shareholder vote widely seen as a rebuke to his leadership. The vote sent shock waves through corporate America and marked the strongest such protest against an incumbent chief executive ever, signaling Disney’s concession was unlikely to satisfy shareholders campaigning for Eisner’s removal.”
“Calpers, the nation’s largest public pension fund, said the ‘stunning’ result of the vote showed the depth of investor frustration with Eisner,” Reuters reports.
Apple and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs is considered one of the potential Eisner replacements, Sallie Hofmeister reported Monday for The Los Angeles Times”
Wall Street has speculated for some time that the co-founder of Apple Computer Inc. could sell his vaunted Pixar Animation Studios to Disney and end up succeeding Eisner as CEO. Such talk intensified when Pixar failed in January to renew a lucrative alliance with Disney that has led to blockbusters such as “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo.”
On the other hand, Pixar’s success doesn’t mean Jobs is ready to run an entertainment giant seven times its size. “He’s got the vision thing and leadership skills, but it’s a big leap,” said a leading recruiter.
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