The Walt Disney Co. has rushed to the defense of a director targeted by Nelson Peltz, an activist shareholder in the spotlight seeking influence over the entertainment giant in Burbank.
On Thursday, Peltz’s hedge fund, Trian Fund Management, called on Disney shareholders to fire board member Michael BG Froman and put Peltz on Disney’s 12-member board.
In a letter to Disney investors, Mr. Tryan said it was “essential” for shareholders to vote for Mr. Peltz and reject Mr. Froman in a vote to “withhold” support for Mr. Froman’s re-election. “Failure to ‘withhold’ Michael BG Froman could jeopardize the goal of electing Nelson Peltz to the board of directors,” Trian wrote in a letter to Disney shareholders. there is
However, Disney’s own letter urged shareholders to reject Trian’s demands.
“Your board does not endorse Mr. Peltz (or his son) as a candidate and believes his election threatens our efforts to manage Disney for all shareholders.” “Throughout his six-plus months of engagement with Mr. Peltz, he has demonstrated that he does not understand Disney’s business, and that it has the objective of delivering shareholder value in a rapidly changing media ecosystem,” the company said. We lack the perspective and experience to contribute to
Peltz’s aggressive campaign to shake up Disney’s board comes less than three months after CEO Bob Iger returned to the legendary company to restore stability and creative ground. Iger now has to deal with a number of wildfires over the past three years. This includes improving Disney’s streaming strategy with a focus on profits as well as growing subscribers. Iger also dismantled the organizational structure imposed by former Disney chief Bob Chapek.
Iger formed the board before leaving the company at the end of 2021.
A Harvard Law School classmate of former President Barack Obama, Froman has served on Disney’s board of directors since 2018. He served as US Trade Representative during the second term of the Obama administration. Prior to that, he served as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Policy during President Obama’s first term.
Froman has been Vice Chairman and President of Mastercard Inc. since 2018, responsible for strategic growth. Before joining the Obama administration, Froman worked for banking giant Citigroup for 10 years. Early in his career, Froman worked at the Clinton White House.
Disney described Froman as “a highly valued board member with a deep background in global trade and international business, and the board is much more dedicated to helping promote shareholder value than Mr. Peltz and his son.” I think it’s suitable,” he said.
“Mr. Froman’s decades of experience in business and international affairs, given Disney’s strategic focus on global growth and innovation of its customer base in changing markets, is an increasingly complex challenge for Disney. Essential for assessing risks and opportunities in global markets.
The company cited his experience as “issues affecting the digital economy, data use and protection, and intellectual property rights, all of which are important to Disney’s business.”
Peltz, 80, has been meeting with Disney executives and board members for months to secure a seat on the entertainment giant’s board of directors in Burbank, but his proposals have been repeatedly rejected. ‘s next move is to have himself selected as a Disney stockholder to vote at the company’s next annual meeting.
Peltz, known for his proxy battles with companies such as Procter & Gamble (P&G), last week announced his efforts to win a seat on the board of directors, saying that the company’s underperforming stock would “self-manage”. He complained to a website called RestoretheMagic.com.
Disney chairman Susan Arnold recently resigned. She was replaced by former Nike CEO Mark Parker.
Since Iger’s comeback, Disney stock has surged 20%.
Disney shares closed Thursday at $113.20, up about 3.5%.