Friday, July 08, 2005

Did Roy Disney Sell Out?!?

In a speech at the Council of Institutional Investors Meeting on 3/26/04 (that is streamed here from, Roy made the following statements:

To sum up, he stated that in order to right the ship, the Disney Company needed to acknowledge:

  • 10 years of declining performance
  • failing strategy
  • lack of executive depth
  • decline in working conditions and cast morale
  • failure of ABC network
  • failure of
  • failure of Fox (now ABC) Family network
  • failure of Disney Stores
  • failure of California Adventure theme park
  • failure of extending the Pixar deal

... failures that cost the shareholders over $7B.

Did they admit to these things or correct them? Obviously they did with the Disney Stores, and ABC's fortunes have improved, but I have yet to hear anything many of these topics.

In a NYTimes article, the following is stated:

Mr. Iger appears to be moving quickly to resolve the problems that contributed to the undoing of Mr. Eisner. The unrelenting campaign against Mr. Eisner waged by Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold played a role in his departure.

Mr. Iger has also reached out to Steve Jobs, chief executive of the highly successful movie studio Pixar Animation, who had announced that he would not renew his distribution deal with Disney. Mr. Jobs had a strained relationship with Mr. Eisner, and Mr. Iger, after it was announced he was taking over, quickly arranged a visit with Mr. Jobs.

A spokesman for Mr. Disney, Michael Sitrick, said that yesterday's agreement had been reached "after both Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold had several conversations with Bob Iger."

In the last several months, Mr. Iger has been meeting with employees, investors and corporate partners to rebuild confidence in the company's leadership.

Did Roy change his stance and basically ditch his demands in exchange for a place of honor in the Company, or are admissions and/or fixes for these issues in our future? As a shareholder, I must say that I am not holding my breath, but as a fan of the SaveDisney group, I hope the text of the NYTimes article is right and this is not a sellout...


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