Investors battle Iger for control over Disney
The Future. In the wake of Disney’s reinstatement of longtime CEO Bob Iger, activist investor Nelson Peltz and former Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter have teamed up to secure Peltz a seat on Disney’s board. So far, Disney — led by Iger — has resisted, but the victor of the ensuing struggle could determine the future of the company.
We go way back
The Hollywood Reporter covers Peltz and Perlmutter’s long history with Disney — and feud with Iger.
- Peltz is a longtime activist investor who aims to restructure blue-chip companies, while Perlmutter (who seized control of Marvel back in 1997 and sold it to Disney in 2009) reportedly has an old grudge against Iger.
- Iger claims the two clashed over Perlmutter’s resistance to Marvel movies with the first Black and female leads.
- After Disney’s Q3 2022 earnings miss, Peltz and Perlmutter met with Chapek about giving Peltz a board seat. Days later, Chapek was dismissed, and Disney stock rallied with Iger at the helm.
- Iger now seems to have solid support from Disney’s board. He dismissed Chapek’s deputy, Kareem Daniel, after Chapek left, and Susan Arnold, the pro-Chapek board chair, is about to see her term expire.
Corporate vs. creative
Iger is pro-creative executives, and his supporters believe that while Disney must address high streaming costs, aggressive corporate restructuring isn’t necessary. Those supporting Peltz and Perlmutter (and Chapek) want to cut costs as much as possible and have historically enlisted consultant firms like McKinsey to prioritize profit.
It seems Iger may have won; publicly, Disney has presented a united front opposing Peltz’s bid. The company claims that Peltz hasn’t suggested a single specific strategic idea and that he hasn’t taken general media industry headwinds into account when considering Disney’s recent performance. The castle stands… for now.