RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Leadership

September 9

September 9, 2004 – CEO Michael Eisner Releases Letter Announcing Retirement

“We are different from companies not in the entertainment field. We are a creative company, and as a result, we are so much more.”

On September 9, 2004, Michael Eisner, then-CEO of the Walt Disney Company, released a statement stating his intention to retire from his role upon the conclusion of his contract on September 30, 2006. Eisner joined the company in 1984 alongside Frank Wells, and the two were able to bring the Walt Disney Company to a new level of success and resurgence. The letter also alluded to certain issues the board had been facing in the recent years, but Eisner assured stakeholders that the board would remain committed to its goals, and Eisner would never lose his love for Disney.

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.