Walt Disney Entertainment Company Crisis Management Plan

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Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt Disney and son of Roy O. Disney, resigned from the board of Walt Disney Company in 2003. His close associate, Stanley Gold, also resigned from the board. Both of them had been highly critical of Michael Eisner, Chairman of Walt Disney Company, who had been running the organization for 20 years. Over the two decades of his reign at the helm of Walt Disney, Eisner had received more than $1 billion as monetary compensation.

Roy Disney and Gold led the campaign for the ouster of Eisner. Finally, on March 3, 2004, an unprecedented and surprising 43% of the shareholders, rallied by Roy Disney and Gold, voted against Eisner’s re-election as chairman of the board. At that time, the company was also fighting a hostile takeover bid by Comcast, the cable television group in the United States. Comcast had offered $60 billion for the takeover bid. George Mitchell, former senator, was elected as chairman but Eisner continued as chief executive.