Disney V-P resigns; corporate structure in turmoil

MUMBAI: The ship is shaking in unsteady waters at the moment for media conglomerate Disney.

Its vice chairman Roy Disney who is the nephew of the company's founder Walt Disney has resigned. This means that there is no family member on the company's board now.

A report in the New York Times has stated that Roy had serious differences of opinion with the chairman Michael Eisner about the direction in which the company was moving and the way it is currently being managed. He also asked for Eisner's resignation. The company's board however did not support him. Prior to the announcement Roy was also the chairman of the feature animation division.

In a letter written to Eisner, Roy said, "For whatever reason, you have driven a wedge between me and those I work with even to the extent of requiring some of my associates to report my conversations and activities to you. I find this intolerable. It is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me."

Another AP report suggested that Roy's decision could have been in order to avoid the embarrassment of being forced off the board. The board's governance and nominating committee decided not to recommend him for another term because he is over the retirement age of 72.

While its theme park business was affected by an unfavourable economic environment, the conglomerate's biggest area of worry is the state of its broadcast station ABC. It has failed to challenge the other networks namely CBS, NBC and Fox in the ratings war.

In addition in the animation department it has depended strongly upon its partnership with Pixar. This has been responsible for films like Finding Nemo. However the two companies part ways in 2005. Disney's own films like The Emperor's New Groove have failed at the box office.

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