With its share price falling and under Pressure mounts from activist investor Nelson Peltz From Trian Partners, a newly reinstalled Disney (dis) CEO Bob Iger reportedly spent the holidays enjoying the open water.
according to Agent statement It was filed by Trian Partners on Thursday, while Iger, while speaking on a Dec. 20 call, postponed a virtual meeting between himself, the Disney board of directors, and Peltz until sometime in January because he planned to “sail his yacht off the coast of New Zealand.”
The virtual meeting was eventually set for January 10, with a Disney representative informing Trian on December 28 that the meeting would be limited to just 30 minutes.
According to the statement, an additional 15 minutes was processed at the request of the activist hedge fund after representatives expressed disappointment with the time constraints.
Once the virtual meeting was officially held earlier this week, a person familiar with the situation told Peltz that Yahoo Finance found Disney’s board very disincorporated. The source added that not a single question was asked of Peltz.
“Nelson is preparing for battle here,” the source said, noting that Peltz could pressure Disney to cut expenses among other initiatives aimed at boosting earnings and declining share price.
The source said Peltz — who has run successful activist campaigns at well-known brands like Procter & Gamble — would also like to see Disney’s profits drop during the pandemic. Peltz hasn’t decided if it’s a Disney spin-off of ESPN – eg Wall Street paid off in the past Source added – should happen.
Iger was not provided to Yahoo Finance for an interview.
This is sure to be shaping up to be one of the ugliest activist fights in recent memories – full of big egos, big money, and a big brand.
On Wednesday, Disney announced Nike CEO and former CEO Mark Parker will receive Susan Arnold as Chair of the Board. The company also recommended that shareholders vote against Peltz in his bid to win a seat on the company’s board of directors.
“While the Walt Disney Company’s senior leadership and Board of Directors have reached out to Mr. Peltz several times over the past few months, the Board of Directors does not endorse the Trian Group’s nominee, and recommends that shareholders not support its nominee, and instead vote in respect of all of the Company’s nominees (referenced above). ), Disney wrote in a press release.
One source told Yahoo Finance that it was not offered an observer role on the board It has also been previously reported by other media. Instead, the source says, Peltz was offered information sharing under a nondisclosure agreement, and a chance to meet with management and the board every three months.
According to Thursday’s statement, Peltz expressed interest in joining Disney’s board as early as July and held multiple conversations with former Disney CEO Bob Chapek before holding discussions with Iger on November 23 — three days after he was reappointed to the executive role. .
During the November meeting, the Trian representatives emphasized that they did not want to engage in a protracted and costly proxy battle, and expressed their support for Iger’s return.
At the time, Disney floated the idea of adding a mutually agreed-upon independent director to the board, but Trian doubled down on such representation by partner Trian intended to “foster an ownership mindset in the boardroom” and “stimulate additional discussion among Disney” regarding the challenges posed by Disney. faced by the company.
Disney faced a rough 2022 as shares fell about 45%, marking the worst annual stock performance for the House of Mouse since 1974.
The profitability of broadcasting, the future of Hulu, and the potential for ESPN’s show Everything is in balance As Iger continues to navigate a stressful business filled with leadership challenges, unfavorable price increases, and a direct-to-consumer division struggling to turn a profit.
However, the media giant defended the company’s stock performance under Iger, noting that during his first role as CEO, the company’s total shareholder return was 554%, surpassing the 244% total return achieved by the S&P 500 during that time.