Disney board: Peltz lacks ‘skills and experience’, offers no ‘strategic’ ideas

The Walt Disney The Company did not mince words in response to Nelson Peltz’s campaign for a board seat, with a blistering attack on the understanding of the activist investor in the industry.

“Peltz does not understand Disney’s businesses and lacks the skills and experience to help the board deliver shareholder value in a rapidly changing media ecosystem,” the entertainment company wrote in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday.

In a separate filingDisney also admitted that, despite several meetings with Peltz and his asset management company Trian Partners, the activist investor did not offer “a strategic idea” that would have helped the business, and it seemed “forgotten” by the changes taking place in the media industry.

The entertainment company’s board also supported CEO Bob Iger in talks with Peltz, speaking the activist investor that “Iger’s leadership should be given time to execute.”

Neither Disney nor Trian immediately responded to a request for comment.

‘Bring back the magic’

Last week, Trian nominee Peltz as a CANDIDATES for the Disney board. Trian said that it holds a $900 million stake in the entertainment company.

Trian says the Peltz board seat helps “bring back the magic” of the entertainment company. In a statement, the company said Disney’s problems were “self-inflicted,” including “failed succession planning,” a “flawed” streaming strategy and “poor judgment in recent M&A efforts including overpaying for the 21st Century. fox properties.” (Disney bought the assets of 21st Century Fox for $71.3 million in 2019.)

Disney reported lower-than-expected revenue in its most recent earnings report in early November, including a shock $1.5 billion loss in streaming services, doubling the loss from last year.

Walt Disney Company shares are still down 47.7% from their peak in March 2021, although prices have changed little from a near eight-year low in December.

Peltz’s campaign was a major challenge to returned Disney CEO Bob Iger, who took over from his former successor Bob Chapek in November, after the entertainment company’s political stumbles and poor earnings. (Trian has admitted that it is not looking to replace Iger as CEO, but is seeking a successful CEO replacement within two years.)

On Tuesday, Disney revealed that Peltz’s campaign was backed by Isaac Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment and one of Disney’s largest individual shareholders. Disney acquired the comic book company in 2009 for $4 billion. Perlmutter is gone creative control at Marvel in 2019, when Disney gave Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige editorial control over the movies, television and print comics division.

In its letter, Disney claimed that Peltz and Perlmutter have pushed for the activist investor to get a board seat at least 20 times since July.

Activist investor

Peltz is also the non-executive chairman of the board of the fast food company Wendy’s, and has, at times, served on the boards of major companies such as Heinz, Procter and Gamble, Invesco and Janus Henderson, sometimes after proxy fights similar to in one. Peltz was recently launched by Disney. Even the threat of a Peltz campaign prompted companies to act: DuPont Start a cost reduction campaign like this withheld a challenge from Peltz.

But not all CEOs are wary of Peltz. On Wednesday, Unilever CEO Alan Jope defended Peltz in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. Trian took a stake in Unilever in January 2022, and Peltz joined its board in May.

“A big part of our agenda last year was to simplify our organization. That’s something he felt needed to happen,” said Jope.

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