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Tag Archives: Announcement

March 3

March 3, 2004 – George J. Mitchell is Elected Chairman of The Walt Disney Company

On March 3, 2004, former U.S. Senator Majority Leader George J. Mitchell was elected chairman of The Walt Disney Company. Mitchell joined The Walt Disney Company in 1995, having been elected to the board; he was named the presiding director on December 3, 2002. His tenure as chairman wasn’t without controversy, as the company was going through a period of turmoil, which included the ousting of then-CEO Michael Eisner. Mitchell departed from his role at Disney on December 31, 2007.

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February 23

February 23, 2004 – Fortune Magazine Reports: Disney is America’s Most Admired Entertainment Company

“That other entertainment industry executives recognized this by voting Disney No. 1 in our industry is a tribute to the hard work of our incredible creative and dedicated cast members and employees.” – Michael Eisner, Disney Chairman and CEO

On February 23, 2004, Fortune Magazine published a list of America’s Most Admired Companies, with The Walt Disney Company taking the number one spot. This list was based on a survey of top members of the entertainment industry, including executives, directors, and securities analysts. 2003 had been a year of growth for the company, particularly through investments in live action films (such as the first installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series), as well as the continued success of their partner studio Pixar (which released Finding Nemo in that year). Stocks also rose 43% during the calendar year.

January 23

January 23, 2006 – Disney Honors Michael Eisner Through Building Renaming Ceremony

“I am grateful for this wonderful honor, especially because this building encapsulates so much that is fantastic about Disney and about the two decades I got to spend here.”

On January 23, 2006, several Disney employees, alongside Disney Board Senator George Mitchell, the Board of Directors, and Disney CEO Bob Iger were on hand to honor former CEO Michael Eisner at a dedication ceremony, renaming the Team Disney building as The Michael D. Eisner Building. The building has served as the company’s corporate headquarters since 1990, and was designed by architect Michael Graves; it was notable for featuring pillars in the shape of the Seven Dwarfs. Disney had been in a state of turmoil when Eisner joined the company and, through his work with Frank Wells, the pair managed to return Disney to its creative, innovative state. The board was unanimous in awarding Eisner this honor for his 21 years of service.

December 27

December 27, 1996 – Michael Ovitz Leaves The Walt Disney Company

“You played the angles too much, exaggerated the truth too far, manipulated me and others too much.” – Michael Eisner, in a November 1996 letter

On December 27, 1996, Michael Ovitz stepped down as the President of the Walt Disney Company. He joined the company in 1995, acting as president under Michael Eisner. The year that Ovitz served as president was considered turbulent at best, and was swiftly let go by Eisner. There were further complications afterwards, as Ovitz was awarded a hefty severance package of $130 million. Disney shareholders eventually sued Ovitz and Eisner for this package; although the court upheld the payment, the court case, and the decisions that led to it, hurt Eisner’s position within the company.

December 10

December 10, 1992 – The NHL Awards a Franchise to the Walt Disney Company

“The Walt Disney Co. is betting that the NHL has recovered from a period of spotty popularity to emerge as the professional sport with the best investment potential, especially in regards to international expansion.”

On December 10, 1992, the NHL officially awarded a new franchise to the Walt Disney Company, which was part of a larger expansion detail that also gave a team to South Florida (which would become the Florida Panthers). The team awarded to Disney became the Mighty Ducks, named after the surprise hit film The Mighty Ducks. The team began to play during the 1993-1994 season. The team played their first game on September 18, 1993. Disney would end up selling the Mighty Ducks in 2005, with the sale final on June 20, 2005.

December 8

December 8, 2006 – MarketWatch Names Bob Iger as CEO of the Year

“This is a well-deserved honor for Bob, and indicative of the passion and perseverance he brings to all of him endeavors.” – Peggy Williams, President of Ithica College

On December 8, 2006, MarketWatch released a statement naming Walt Disney Company President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Iger as CEO of the Year. Iger was named thanks to his contributions to the innovation of the entertainment industry; MarketWatch looks at the track record of CEOs in terms of stock price, performance for customers, treatment of employees, and corporate-governance initiatives. One of the major initiatives that led to this honor for Iger was the careful negotiations for Disney to buy Pixar for $7 billion, extending an olive branch to the company that had suffered a fractured relationship with Disney for quite some time.

October 21

October 21, 2004 – Hong Kong Disneyland Names First Ambassador

On October 21, 2004, Hong Kong Disneyland named Angela To as its first park ambassador. The tradition of park ambassadors began in 1965 with Julie Reihm for Disneyland Park, and the ambassador travels to and participates in special events, including parades and interviews. The ambassadors also attend a special training in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. To would serve as the ambassador and be present as Hong Kong Disneyland officially opened on September 12, 2005.