View Full Version : DEBATE: Is The Big ME 'on his own' now?

09-30-2002, 02:16 PM
Just musing about the future...

Given that The Big ME has managed to put his head firmly on the chopping block with several years of running off senior executives and poor corporate performance, when will his Praetorians turn on him and look for a new emperor?

In other words - when will his coterie of Yes-men (women) decide that their personal career survival/success is no longer tied to his coat-tails?

I mean the guy is 60, when he leaves Disney he won't be getting another CEO job, he's managed to p*** off much of the rest of the industry, etc and so the issue of whether or not he likes you is becoming less and less important to your career aspirations than doing the things you know you needed to do all along but you didn't do because of him...

And then finally- maybe you tell Roy and Stan things you've never told them before because now you know they're 'looking'...

10-01-2002, 07:57 AM
Hmmm.....it certainly would be interesting to get inside the head of some of the higher up folks at Disney. Perhaps this is what some are thinking....then again, perhaps its more profitable to them personally in the short term to keep on nodding yes. And we all know there's a big problem with folks who only see the short term at Disney these days!

This has been, and will continue to be, an interesting thing to watch.

10-01-2002, 10:50 AM
Here's what the LA Times has to say on the subject:What's bad for Walt Disney Co. is bad for Southern California, and at the moment Disney Chairman Michael Eisner is looking pretty bad.

Theme park attendance has stalled and the new attraction in Anaheim has proved a California Misadventure. The studio has lost its edge in animated film, the Angels continue to lose money despite their current glory, and ABC, shut out in the recent Emmy Awards, seems to stand for Anything But Compelling.

Disney has been hard-hit by a tourism slowdown and advertising slump, but one man shoulders the blame for the company's shortcomings. Eisner has occupied the chairman's office for 18 years, longer than anyone other than founder Walt Disney. So today's Disney is a direct reflection of Eisner, the executive who was recruited in 1984 to restore magic to a troubled entertainment kingdom.

Eisner's penchant for losing top executives has led to a parade of sorcerer's apprentices. He's failed to identify a successor or a strategic plan to cure the company's current woes. Board members blushed when it surfaced that the company had hired their relatives. Most painful was the plunging stock price that led Warren Buffett to sell shares and prompted tough questions from longtime board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold.

Disney's future began to emerge Tuesday during a blunt, five-hour board meeting. The initial changes will reshape Disney's board, which at times has included Eisner's lawyer, his architect and the principal of his children's elementary school. Board members Gold and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell now share control over the powerful corporate governance committee. But for the sake of Southern California's entertainment and retail sectors, we'd like to see more changes, because the hand-picked board remains too cozy. Eisner also must safeguard Disney's future by producing the succession plan and telling how he'll revive the flagging businesses.

Eisner is thinking about selling the Angels and merging the costly ABC news division with a competitor, and maintains that Disney will turn around when the economy rebounds. But managing a complex media company during a tough economy has frustrated other executives--just ask former Vivendi Universal Chairman Jean-Marie Messier or Steve Case at AOL Time Warner.
Eisner deserves applause for transforming a moribund theme park operator and film company into a media giant. But the pressure on Eisner is growing. And, just as in Hollywood, successful sequels in the corporate world are few and far between. He seems to be on the way out, now that he can get this kind of press in the mainstream media. A year ago, no one would have published this.