March 14, 2005

Disney Has New CEO

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.

When I was little my parents did take us for trips in the summer when we were out of school. We neveer made it to Disney. I did not make it to Disney until I was an adult and boy was I surprised at all the things they had. I am a Disney fan and addict. When we were smaller we went to Carowinds, Six Flags, Cedar Point, The Okefenokee Swamp Park, Washington and every building and historical place there was to see, The Smithsonian , Niagra Falls, various places all over Canada and many many more places up and down the east coast of the Unites States. How we missed Disney I will never know. I made up for lost time. I go to Walt Disney World once a year, every year.

Finally Eisner is out! Yeah! Robert Iger is in!
ABC News

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LOS ANGELES Mar 14, 2005 — Michael Eisner, the longtime CEO of The Walt Disney Co., will step down a year earlier than expected, handing over the reins to Robert Iger and ending a tumultuous stint atop the entertainment giant.

Disney shares edged up 9 cents to $27.68 in morning trading Monday in a muted response to Sunday's announcement. Its shares have trdaed in a range of $20.88 and $29.99 over the past 52 weeks.

Iger, 54, the firm's current president and chief operating officer, was named to succeed Eisner as chief executive. He will assume his new role Oct. 1. and will co-lead the company with Eisner during the transition, Disney's board said.

He inherits the company as it continues an earnings recovery, opens a new theme park in Hong Kong, enjoys a ratings boost at its ailing ABC network and builds on success of its dominant ESPN cable network.

"This is not a broken company. If things go right for Bob, it could be a phenomenal performer in the next few years," said Larry Haverty, a portfolio manager at Gabelli Asset Management.

Iger will face many challenges, however, including repairing some of the relationships damaged by Eisner, negotiating broadcast rights with the NFL, expanding Disney into China and India, protecting its content from piracy while embracing new technology, and warding off another shareholder challenge from disgruntled ex-directors Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold.

Eisner, who said he would step down in 2006, will end his tenure at the company after serving 21 years. Iger will become only the sixth leader of Disney in its history.

Iger is seen as less polarizing that Eisner, a trait that might give Disney another chance to cut a new deal with longtime partner Pixar Animation Studios, the makers of such hits as this year's Oscar-winning "The Incredibles."

"I think probably Bob has better success doing something that could benefit the Disney shareholders," Haverty said.

Pixar CEO Steve Jobs has said he would wait before talking to other studios about distributing his films until after Disney choose Eisner's successor. Pixar has one more film to deliver under its current Disney deal.

Iger, who was named president in 2000, has already won praise from Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.

Eisner has repeatedly clashed with brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein since Disney bought the independent studio in 1993. Disney is close to ending its 12-year relationship with the Weinsteins in a deal that will see Disney keep the Miramax name and library while the Weinsteins leave to form their own company.

Rest of the story here!

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