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Disney Lines Up Shareholder, Business Leader, Family Support for CEO Bob Iger, Board

Disney Lines Up Shareholder, Business Leader, Family Support for CEO Bob Iger, Board

As The Walt Disney Co. approaches its contentious annual shareholder meeting on April 3, the media giant is aligning a cast of influential voices from across business and media, as well family descendants of Walt and Roy O. Disney, in support of Disney’s current board of directors and CEO Bob Iger.

The shareholder meeting is shaping up as a showdown with activist investor Nelson Peltz, whose New York-based Trian Fund Management owns $3.6 billion in Disney common stock and wants to be appointed to the board along with former CFO Jay Rasulo. Peltz says he supports Iger remaining CEO through the executive’s previously announced departure in 2026.

Key figures backing the current board include Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase, filmmaker George Lucas, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Laurene Powell Jobs, founder/president, Emerson Collective, and Mason Morfit, ValueAct Capital co-CEO and chief investment officer, among others.

“Putting people on a board unnecessarily can harm a company. I don’t know why shareholders would take that risk, especially given the significant progress the company has made since Bob Iger came back,” Dimon said in a statement.

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Lucas, who sold his Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion in 2012, said Iger’s board members and leadership are critical in the current economic market.

“No one knows Disney better. I remain a significant shareholder because I have full faith and confidence in the power of Disney and Bob’s track record of driving long-term value,” Lucas said.

All the grandchildren of Roy O. Disney, which includes the outspoken Abigail E. Disney, a longtime critic of corporate business practices, tax laws and wealth, stand behind the current Disney board and Iger.

“We may not agree about everything, but we know that our grandfather would be especially proud of what Disney means to the world today,” they said in a statement. “We also know that, like us, he would be very concerned by the threat posed by self-anointed ‘activist investors’ [and] hedge-fund-backed opportunists who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, just waiting to tear Disney apart if they can trick shareholders into opening the door for them.”

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