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August 24

August 24, 1994 – Jeffrey Katzenberg Steps Down as Head of Walt Disney Studios

“With heartfelt thanks and obvious regret, I wish him well in his future endeavors.” – Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner

On August 24, 1994, Jeffery Katzenberg, the head of Walt Disney Studios, announced that he had resigned from his position. Although this had caught most of Hollywood by surprise, Katzenberg’s position at Disney had been up in the air since the passing of President of the Walt Disney Company, Frank Wells; there had been some obvious tension between Katzenberg and CEO Michael Eisner, who had refused to promote Katzenberg to Wells’ position. Although Katzenberg had helped to make Disney one of the most profitable studios of the era, the profitability came at a cost. It was announced that Joe Roth, the former chairman of 20th Century Fox, would be taking Katzenberg’s position.


September 7

September 7, 1984 – Ron Miller Resigns as President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company


“All of this activity in the last six months is not purely attributable to Ron Miller. The directors had a voice in all of this.” – Harold Vogel, analyst with Merrill Lynch, Inc.

On September 7, 1984, after mounting pressure from the board of directors and a dismal series of events for the company, Ron W. Miller announced his resignation as President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which was accepted unanimously. The final six months of Miller’s command were bleak at best, with Saul P. Steinberg threatening to takeover the company; the company faced criticism in paying $325 million to Steinberg to keep the company intact. The company also faced problems in terms of the fare that they released; Miller had the idea to release more provocative fare, which was met with mixed criticism within the company. While the creation of Touchstone Films would prove to be a boon for the company, the earlier releases with this new provocative, innovative lens were financially disastrous. It would be shortly after this that Michael Eisner and Frank Wells would be named as CEO and President, respectfully, and the company would start seeing a turnaround in its success.

November 30

November 30, 2003 – Roy E. Disney Resigns

Roy Disney

“It is with deep sadness and regret that I send you this letter of resignation from the Walt Disney Company, both as Chairman of the Feature Animation Division and as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.”

On November 30, 2003, Roy E. Disney effectively announced his resignation from the Walt Disney Company in a letter addressed to then CEO Michael Eisner. Though Eisner’s early years with the company had been prosperous, it was after the passing of company president Frank Wells that tensions mounted between Eisner and Disney. In a three-page handwritten letter delivered to Eisner’s Manhattan residence, Disney laid out seven specific grievances he had with Eisner’s leadership, ranging from poor quality in the theme parks, to loss of company morale through micro-managing. Disney remained off the board until 2005, when Eisner stepped down and Bob Iger was named as the new CEO; Disney rejoined the board as a non-voting Director Emeritus and consultant.