Blackwells Nominates New Executives to Disney Board Amid Strategy Clash

Summary

  • Board challenges at Disney have signified attempts to change the company’s strategy; however, Blackwells backs CEO Bob Iger’s efforts, according to global finance sources.
  • Blackwells’s offer gives Disney shareholders the choice of electing nominees who can aid Iger and, conversely, oppose Trian’s nominees critical of the company’s strategy.
  • The bid for the Disney board is steeped in high stakes, specifically concerning the company’s planned resurgence under Iger following a $1.5 billion streamed content division loss.
  • Two other major shareholders, ValueAct Capital and Trian, own significant Disney shares and are making opposing moves.

Blackwells is endorsing the work of Disney CEO Bob Iger amidst board challenges typically portrayed as efforts to alter a company’s direction.

Blackwell’s Strategy and Its Impact on Disney

Currently, Blackwells is extending a selection of potential candidates to Disney shareholders who are in favor of fresh board membership that would aid Iger; however, they oppose electing Trian’s candidates, who pose criticism towards the company’s strategy, said the sources.

This novel development in the race for Disney’s board highlights the consequences revolving around the company’s planned resurgence under Iger.

CEO until 2020, Iger resumed his position in November 2022, following the company’s sizable loss in the streaming division and the subpar performance of many movie franchises, leading to a decline in stock prices.

Blackwells Nominees for the Board

Blackwells proposed three executives with experience in entertainment, real estate, and venture capitalism to join Disney’s board, sources report. These nominees include Jessica Schell, Craig Hatkoff, and Leah Solivan.

Additionally, Blackwells suggests reinstating any incumbent board directors who lose their seat to the Blackwells nominees through an expansion of the board, sources expressed. The sources remained anonymous as the nominations were confidential.

Corporate Dynamics and Shareholder Influence

Disney recently secured a deal with ValueAct Capital, another hedge fund, planning to advise on strategy and endorse director nominees at the annual shareholder meeting.

In contrast, Trian, another significant shareholder, put forward its CEO Nelson Peltz and former Disney Chief Financial Officer James Rasulo as nominees.

Disney’s board underwent changes in November with the addition of former Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and former SKY CEO Jeremy Darroch to its ranks. This action has resulted in criticism from Trian and other investors, due to the ill-prepared succession plan for CEO Iger.

Blackwells, under Jason Aintabi, has a track record of calling for the removal of CEOs at Peloton Interactive and Colony Capital, and is planning to challenge the board of Wendy’s Co.

This boardroom activity is of great interest to forex and asset traders, as shifts in company leadership often result in significant stock price movements, potentially offering profitable investment opportunities.

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