Bob Iger, Nelson Peltz react to board vote

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Scoring a big and expensive victory this morning against Nelson Peltz’s second attempt to get on the Disney board, Bob Iger showed kindness as well as a little patience in winning.

Once the outcome in the big-money corporate battle was announced, past and present CEOs addressed the virtual meeting, thanking “shareholders for your trust and confidence in the Disney board and management and the ambitious strategy we will implement across our businesses.” are doing.” Future.”

Indeed, behind the scenes, facing direct challenges to his leadership from Peltz’s Trian Group and Ike Perlmutter, Iger also lashed out at his defeated rivals. “Now that this distracting proxy contest is behind us, we are here to focus 100% of our attention on our most important priorities, growth and value creation for our shareholders and creative excellence for our consumers,” the executive said. Said without saying anything. Peltz or Perlmutter or even other activist investors like the Blackwells.

Thank you again for your support and your continued investment in this company, he said before taking questions from shareholders on matters like more Taylor Swift concert films, political stances and theme park expansion.

As we’ve heard, Disney’s 12-member slate, including Iger, received an overwhelming vote of shareholders, with nearly 75% of retail shareholders supporting the company. On specifics, after spending millions, Peltz received 31% of the vote. The Wendy’s chairman trailed Disney slate nominee and company director Maria Elena Lagomasino by a huge two-to-one margin.

Bob Iger received 94% of the votes to retain the board, chaired by Mark Parker.

Jay Russulo and Nelson Peltz

Owning about $3.5 billion worth of Mouse House stock, some of which they sold not long ago, neither Peltz nor former Disney CFO Jay Russulo gained much traction among their fellow shareholders. Still, Peltz’s Trojans tried to have it both ways with their reaction to their big loss on Wednesday.

“Although we are disappointed with the outcome of this proxy contest, Trian greatly appreciates our support and conversations with Disney stakeholders. We are proud of the impact we have had in refocusing this company on value creation and good governance. As we rejoin the company in late 2023, Disney has announced several new operating initiatives and capital improvement plans. The Board has been renewed with two new directors. Over the past six months, Disney’s stock is up nearly 50% and is the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s best-performing stock ever.

We thank Trian’s investors for the confidence they have shown in our efforts. And, we wish the best for all of the company’s stakeholders, including the Disney board and management team. We will continue to monitor the company’s performance and remain focused on its continued success.”

Fighting off both Team Iger and Trion, the Blackwells also declared a victory of sorts:

The Blackwells’ primary objective was achieved – to keep Nelson Peltz out of the Disney boardroom. The company would have benefited from one of our candidates for the hard work required over the next few years to move this prestigious company forward, but we respect the wishes of the shareholders and the outcome. For its part, Disney showed that it needs to focus more on transparency and truly acting in the best interests of all of its shareholders. In particular, the Board’s refusal to publicize the information sharing agreement with ValueAct, as well as all fees paid by Disney to ValueAct prior to the Board’s endorsement, remains a serious issue. We will continue our litigation to ensure that there is a resolution that benefits shareholders and implements governance best practices.

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