Apparently, "there's a great big beautiful tomorrow" shining in Disney's
Since Roy Disney Jr. and Stan Gold launched the SaveDisney.com site shortly after they left Disney's board of directors two years ago, there has been a pretty tense stand-off between the two warring factions. With the assistance of a large block of institutional investors, the Save Disney camp almost succeeded in booting Disney CEO Michael Eisner from the company's board at last year's annual meeting.
The groundswell subsided when Eisner announced that he would step down no later than 2006, but started bubbling again in earnest when Disney tapped insider Robert Iger as Eisner's successor.
The Save Disney group wanted to go after Apple's
In return for giving Iger a shot to prove himself through the end of the decade and dropping a lawsuit challenging Disney's CEO selection process, Roy was granted the title of director emeritus and will be retained by the company as a consultant.
Inconsequential? No way. Iger has been doing some amazing work in recent months in burying some of the hatchets that Eisner had unearthed. Despite being a charismatic and capable leader at times, Eisner ultimately rubbed way too many people the wrong way. Because Iger was Eisner's personal choice, the initial reaction was that Iger's reign would be more of the same.
No one believes that anymore. Iger has restructured some of Disney's operations to unknot the micro-managing mess that Eisner had woven. He has also gone to great lengths to repair severed relationships. Having Roy and Stan in his corner will work wonders in cleaning up the company's tattered corporate image. Who knows? Maybe Iger will find a way to mend the seemingly lost-cause partnership with Pixar
No matter what, Iger is starting to prove that he was the right choice for Disney. His ability to steer the company toward the future, while at the same time reaching back to acknowledge its storied heritage, shows refreshing dexterity on his part.
It's raining pixie dust again.
More prime-time headlines:
- Iger's timing in embracing the Disney family is perfect since Disneyland is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
- Maybe now Iger can repair the company's waning popularity at the box office.
- If not, maybe Roy, Stan can get chummy with Iger via wireless phone now.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders what will become of the SaveDisney.com site now. He owns shares of Disney and Pixar. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.