In a major shakeup at The Walt Disney Company, the Theme Park and Entertainment Giant has named Mark Parker as Disney’s Chairman of the Board.
The Walt Disney Company continues to make significant changes. Today’s latest victim – Disney’s Board of directors. According to a recent filing by Disney, the company is tapping Nike executive chairman Mark Parker to be its newest Chairman, effective at its next annual meeting.
Susan Arnold has been chair since Bob Iger retired from the company at the end of 2021. Mrs. Arnold was ultimately responsible for dismissing former Disney CEO Bob Chapek from his post and asking Bob Iger to return last year. The company says her departure is consistent with Disney’s 15-year board term limit.
Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, said in a statement, “Mark Parker’s vision, incredible depth of experience, and wise counsel have been invaluable to Disney, and I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role, along with our other directors, as we chart the future course for this amazing company. On behalf of my fellow Board members and the entire Disney management team, I also want to thank Susan for her superb leadership as Chairman and her tireless work over the past 15 years as an exemplary steward of the Disney brand.”
In addition to Parker’s appointment, he will also chair a new committee on the Disney board: A “succession planning” committee dedicated to advising the panel on the status of CEO succession planning.
During the latest announcement of the news, Disney also disclosed that it is facing a proxy fight from activist investor Nelson Peltz and his fund Trian Partners. Trian has nominated Peltz to serve on the Board.
The company released a statement stating, “The Walt Disney Company remains open to constructive engagement and ideas that help drive shareholder value. While senior leadership of The Walt Disney Company and its Board of Directors have engaged with Mr. Peltz numerous times over the last few months, the Board does not endorse the Trian Group nominee and recommends that shareholders not support its nominee, and instead vote FOR all the company’s nominees.”
What makes this proxy fight interesting is that according to reports, Nelson Peltz, who is famous for corporate activism (or as others may describe as corporate raiding) and helping companies in an intimate style of active management, was reportedly not in the view that recently appointed CEO Bob Iger should be back in control of the company.
The proxy fight and how CEO Bob Iger deals with Peltz will most likely have significant implications for the future and direction of The Walt Disney Company.
Are you surprised that Susan Arnold has decided to step down as Disney’s board chairwoman? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below.