The Walt Disney Copmany’s board of directors has a new chairman. With Bob Iger returning as CEO, changes are happening left and right. The current shift being that Susan Arnold has been replaced as Disney board chairman. Former Nike exec chairman, Mark Parker, is stepping into the role.
Apparently, Arnold’s time in the position was simply up, hence a replacement being needed. “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,” Iger said in a statement. “I also want to thank Susan for her superb leadership as Chairman and for her tireless work over the past 15 years as an exemplary steward of the Disney brand.”
Not everyone is happy with Parker’s induction, however. ‘Activist investor’ Nelson Peltz has been nominated by his fund, Trian Partners, to take Parker’s position. Peltz seems to be under the impression Disney needs someone to “fix” the media giant’s business. He describes Disney’s current “challenges” as “self-inflicted.”
No Room for Peltz in The Magic Kingdom
Trian elaborated, criticizing Disney+ for a lack of effectiveness and financial efficiency. “We are surprised that Disney’s best-in-class IP, franchises, and scale have not led to in-line, if not superior, unit economics compared with Netflix, which generally lacks high quality, franchise IP,” they claimed.
“It remains open to constructive engagement and ideas that help drive shareholder value,” Disney responded. “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. Mr. Iger’s mandate is…to adapt the business model for the shifting media landscape, rebalancing investment with revenue opportunity while bringing a renewed focus on the creative talent that has made The Walt Disney Company the envy of the industry.”
It is highly unlikely Peltz will take Parker’s place.