Two years ago, Michael Eisner wore more hats than an audio-animatronic pirate juggling booty from an island raid. It wasn't until shareholder unrest started brewing that Eisner began relinquishing some of his posts. The board even decided to have him replaced as chairman with fellow director (and former U.S. senator) George Mitchell.
Chairman Mitchell was able to hold off retirement long enough to see Iger achieve a surprisingly smooth transition to the top. Disney wasn't about to allow a non-independent chair at the helm, but it was good to see that Iger's ego was so anchored that he didn't even entertain the notion of following in Eisner's multi-hat footsteps.
Pepper came to Disney's board after serving as CEO of Procter & Gamble
Independent chairs are often seen as token appointments of pedigreed corporate leaders, but Pepper will be more than that. Iger's approach to getting everyone involved in drumming up solutions is a refreshing change from Eisner's micromanaged tenure, and if Pepper wants his voice to be heard, it will be.
This comes at a time when Disney is performing pretty well. Its theme parks are doing brisk business, and only another devastating hurricane season could derail success there. ABC is in a healthier position to command juicy ad revenue, and the acquisition of Pixar will fortify the company's feature animation studio.
Iger has been able to sprinkle the right amount of salt to inspire his seasoned company. Now here comes the Pepper.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is still a kid at heart, smitten over the right kind of animation. He owns shares in Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.