The Trian Group’s Nelson Peltz has formally asked Disney shareholders to elect himself, as well as former Disney executive Jay Rasulo, to the company’s board of directors at the annual meeting this spring.
The activist investor, who is allied with Ike Perlmutter, holds a war chest of about $3 billion- worth of Disney stock.
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Trian, in its own proxy statement today that followed Disney’s earlier this week reiterated complaints about Bob Iger’s leadership and Disney “significantly underperformed its peers and its potential.”
The fund also asked shareholders to withhold votes for three nominees put forward by another activist investor, Blackwells — Craig Hatkoff, Jessicasl Schell, and Leah Solivan. It said “they don’t have the same level of relevant experience or qualifications as the Trian Nominees.”
Disney believes all five nominees — Trian’s and Blackwells — are unqualified.
The company said Tuesday that Peltz “had not actually presented a single strategic idea for Disney.” It said Rasulo had been out of the business for too long and would have an “outdated perspective,” and that since he was passed over for CEO in 2015 he’d have a hard time working constructively for Iger.
Trian said, “Blackwells nominees appear to be content with Disney’s current turnaround efforts, rather than seeking to hold the Company accountable for improved performance.”
In a CNBC appearance this morning, Peltz said that Disney’s “entire board, including Bob, own less than $15 million worth of stock. That’s not a hell of a lot of commitment to this company, given the fees, etc. that they get from being a director or an officer of this company. And when you want to talk about Bob — Bob has taken a billion dollars out of this company since he’s been there. A billion dollars.”
“Last year, he got paid 31.5 million dollars. Earnings were down, they missed everything, the stock was down.”
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