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May 6

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May 6, 1991 – The Walt Disney Company Joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average

On May 6, 1991, the Walt Disney Company joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average (known as the Dow), a stock market index that tracks the value of 30 publicly owned companies from the United States. This inclusion was part of a revamp of the Dow, and was the first time an entertainment company had been added to the Dow since 1932; Paramount-Publix was briefly in the Dow from 1928 to 1932. Disney was added alongside J.P. Morgan and Caterpillar Inc., replacing Navistar International Corporation, USX Corporation, and Primerica Corporation.

February 4

February 4, 1958 – The Wall Street Journal Publishes Article “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify – and Never Miss an Angle”

“Integration is the key word around here: we don’t do anything in one line without giving a thought to its likely profitability in our other lines.”

On February 4, 1958, an article entitled “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify, and Never Miss an Angle” appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Written by Mitchell Gordon, the article looks at the integration of business lines within the Disney Company, using the recent release of Sleeping Beauty as an example; the film’s release also spawned success in book, tv, record, and park profits. The article also takes a look at the intricacies of the company’s employees as more than just “movie moguls,” but innovators of various fields. The article was also sent to the company’s shareholders, as it was seen as an accurate description of how the company worked across business lines.

December 9

December 9, 1985 – Pixar is Incorporated in the State of California

On December 9, 1985, Pixar Animation Studios became incorporated in California. By this point, the company had several successes in computer animation while working for Lucasfilm, including the “Stained Glass Knight” sequence in Young Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of Andre & Wally B, the first computer animated short film by the studio. In 1986, Steve Jobs completed the purchase of the company from George Lucas and Lucasfilm, officially becoming the independent company Pixar.

January 11

January 11, 2016 – President and CEO of Nike Mark G. Parker Joins Walt Disney Company Board of Directors

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“…Mark is widely recognized for driving the stellar growth of an industry-leading brand. His keen insight into consumers and his broad experience in international markets make him a great fit for the Disney Board.” Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger

On January 11, 2016, it was announced that President and CEO of Nike, Inc., Mark G, Parker, was elected to the Walt Disney Company Board of Directors. Parker began at Nike in 1979 as one of the company’s first footwear designers, and moved up the ranks to become the CEO and President in 2006. Parker is also renowned for expanding the growth of the company’s global business portfolio, along with leading the way in product design. His addition to the board brings the membership of the Disney Board of Directors to 12.

November 12

November 12, 1957 – Disney is Added to the New York Stock Exchange

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“Based upon Disney’s returns OTC and on the NYSE, Disney probably has the ‘happiest’ shareholders on Earth.” – Business Insider

On November 12, 1957, the Walt Disney Company’s first stocks were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock closed at $13.75 on its first day ($118.14 when adjusted for 2016 inflation), and managed to jump to a close of $59.50 in April of 1959 ($493.64 when adjusted for 2016 inflation). Since its introduction in the NYSE, Disney stock has been of the top performers, with an initial $1 investment in 1957 estimating to be worth at least $5000 today.

February 21

February 21, 1996 – Disney.com Goes Live

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“The official home for all things Disney.”

On February 21, 1996, the first online offering from Disney, known as Disney.com, went live. The purpose of the site was to provide information pertaining to all things Disney, including past, present, and upcoming feature films, offerings from the assorted television channels, information about the theme parks, and showcases of Disney merchandise. Since the live date, the site has undergone several changes, including a major overhaul that was announced by CEO Bob Iger in 2007. A new service called Disney Xtreme Digital (Disney XD) was unveiled the same year, but was later de-emphasized and removed to become the name of a new Disney digital cable channel.

February 9

February 9, 1996 – The Disney Institute Experience Opens at Walt Disney World

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“For over two decades Disney Institute has been helping transform organizations through custom solutions grounded the time-tested success and insights from The Walt Disney Company

On February 9, 1996, the learning center The Disney Institute opened at Walt Disney World. Opened by Michael Eisner, the idea of the vacation experience was to provide guests a selection of over 80 interactive programs in eight categories: Entertainment Arts, Performing Arts, Story Arts, Design Arts, Culinary Arts, Lifestyles, Gardening & the Great Outdoors, and Sports & Fitness. The experience was held at the Disney Village, which included facilities for all of the programs, which included animation studios, culinary studios, and a 225-seat amphitheater. By the summer of 2000, the focus of the Disney Institute shifted from casual guests to programs that accommodated corporate offices and guests, teaching professional development. The last guests for the old version of the Disney Institute stayed at the resort on February 11, 2002, and was replaced by the Saratoga Springs Resort, a part of the Disney Vacation Club. Although there is no permanent location for the Disney Institute, it still operates, providing seminars and workshops in the following: Leadership Excellence; Selection, Training, & Engagement; Quality Service; Brand Loyalty; Creativity & Innovation; and Business Excellence.

December 4

December 4, 2012 – Disney Announces Distribution Deal with Netflix

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“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today.” – Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer

On December 4, 2012, Disney announced a deal with the online streaming service Netflix, making them the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for Disney films, which includes the Disney catalog, but films from four of Disney’s subsidiaries: Pixar, Marvel, Disneynature, and Disney Animation. This deal was reached after Netflix’s contract with Starz expired in February, 2012. The exclusive part of the deal begins with Disney films released in 2016, although Netflix is currently streaming several Disney animated classics and direct-to-video titles. This deal did not include a DVD component. After announcing the deal to the media, Netflix shares rose 14%. It was estimated that the company would be paying over $350 million a year for the Disney catalog.

November 7

November 7, 1994 – Paul Pressler is Named President of Disneyland Resort

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“Paul is a talented, creative business executive. He is fiscally sophisticated, he nurtures great ideas and he knows how to see them through. I know that Disneyland will thrive under his leadership.” Then-chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner

On November 7, 1994, president of Walt Disney Attractions Judson Green announced Paul Pressler as the new president of Disneyland Resort, replacing Jack Lindquist. Pressler joined Disney in 1987 as the senior vice president of Disney Licensing, and moved to senior vice president of Consumer Products. After joining the Disney Store as president in 1993, Pressler helped orchestrate the opening of hundreds of shops all over the world, expanding the number from 160 stores to 335 in 8 different countries. As president of Disneyland, he was instrumental in the expansion of Disneyland to a two park resort with three hotels.

August 31

August 31, 2009 – Disney Announces the Acquisition of Marvel Entertainment

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“Marvel’s brand and its treasure trove of content will now benefit from our extraordinary reach.” – Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company

On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a surprise deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in cash and stock. The deal allows Disney to take Marvel’s cast of characters across the different media platforms Disney has at their disposal; Iger told investors that Pixar was especially excited about the opportunities this acquisition could produce. Disney also noted that they plan to bring to the forefront many characters from the Marvel library that weren’t well known. When the deal was announced, the Marvel stock shot up 26%.