Disney board backs Eisner, Iger

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company board meeting couldn't spring any surprises. The embattled chief executive officer Michael Eisner got a breather as the company's board of directors extended him their full support.

The major outcome of the two-day retreat at Disney's headquarters in Burbank was the decision to divide powers between chairman George Mitchell and Eisner.

Meanwhile, the ice-cold approach of Disney director board has provoked Comcast Corporation to pull out from their ambitious bid for Disney. Comcast had earlier made an unsolicited bid for the company. But the Disney board declined to make any reference to the bid in their statement.

Disney's board also gave their full backing to Eisner's team of executives. The board agreed that they had a discussion on CEO and senior management succession plans during the meeting, but refused to divulge details.

"The board continues to have complete confidence in Michael Eisner, (chief operating officer) Bob Iger and the senior management team and in their strategic growth plan to continue to strengthen the company's position as the global leader in quality family entertainment," the board said in a statement.

Chairman George Mitchell will be in charge of presiding over board meetings, setting the agenda and coordinating the board's review of management's performance. The board in a statement said it had approved the division of duties between Eisner and new chairman George Mitchell, and that Eisner's management authority was unchanged.

Eisner had been holding the twin-posts of the chairman and CEO before the 3 March's investors' meet stripped him of his position as chairman. Since then, he has been under pressure from some high-profile shareholders.

The rebel shareholders have been accusing the company of damaging the shareholder value by making poor investment decisions and over-exploiting the company's animation heritage.

Disney has returned the blame pointing out the record studio performance they made last year plus forecasts of an earnings-growth of more than 40 per cent in the current fiscal.

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