The Disney Wars are heating up again. Dissident shareholders and former board members Roy E. Disney (Walt’s nephew ) and Stanley Gold have fired off a blistering letter to current board members questioning the company’s selection process for a CEO to replace the controversial Michael Eisner.
The New York Post’sPage Six gossip column got hold of the letter which states: “[We] have learned that Michael Eisner is going to be present at all the interviews the Board is conducting for his replacement as CEO … if Eisner is allowed to be present, it will make a mockery of the idea that candidates should have meaningful interchanges with the Board and it will subvert the entire search process”. The pair are also calling for an investigation into mistakes made by Eisner in acquiring the Fox Family Channel for $US5.2 billion in 2001, citing evidence in James Stewart’s new book, Disney War, that indicates the Mouse House overpaid News Corp by as much as $US2 billion.
A Disney spokesman responded: “They have been consistently wrong in the past and this is nothing more than a perpetuation of a campaign of distortions aimed at advancing their own personal agenda”, as Reuters reports here. It was Disney and Gold who spearheaded the campaign in the lead up to last year’s shareholders meeting, which led to Eisner being stripped of his role as Disney chairman.They issued a statement through their website SaveDisney.com earlier this week stating they will withhold their vote at this year’s AGM until a new CEO is appointed.