Wall Street Activist Ends Proxy Fight After Disney Cost-Cutting Announcement

The day after Disney CEO Bob Iger announced $5.5 billion in spending cuts, which include 7,000 job layoffs, billionaire Wall Street activist investor Nelson Peltz with Trian Partners announced that his high-profile proxy fight to secure a board seat is over.

Nelson Peltz (Trian Partners photo)

“We wish the very best to Bob, this management team and the board. We will be watching. We will be rooting,” Peltz told CNBC. “The proxy fight is over.”

Peltz, whose company owns $900 million worth of Disney shares, had sought a board seat either for himself or his son in an effort to change what he characterized as “weak corporate governance” at the Magic Kingdom, which he claimed had resulted in lower stock valuation.

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Indeed, Disney’s high-profile subscription streaming service reported its first-ever quarterly subscriber loss (through Dec. 31, 2022), in addition upping operating losses to $1.1 billion. Disney claims its direct-to-consumer business unit, which also includes Hulu, Hulu + Live TV and ESPN+, will be profitable by fiscal 2024.