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Disney board shield Michael Eisner from critics

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MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company's board said yesterday that the campaign by two former directors, Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, to oust the chief executive, Michael Eisner, was misleading and distracted the company's leaders from a turnaround that started last year.



The board vowed "to set the record straight" in its letter, which comes in response to repeated criticism from Roy Disney and his ally Stanley Gold, both of whom resigned from Disney's board last year. It said that the two former directors backed some decisions they now condemn.



Disney and Gold have mounted a protest campaign to vote against the reelection of Eisner and three other board members at the 3 March annual meeting.



The letter to the shareholders is the most detailed response from the company or its board since Disney and Gold resigned last year and started the campaign. The duo have criticised Eisner, saying that he has failed to revive the ABC television network and has alienated business partners.



Roy Disney also accused Eisner of draining the creativity from the company and mismanaging its finances over the past decade. As a retort, the board said that the attack was based on distorted evidence.



The board's 13 directors, including Eisner, also said they intended to add another independent director this year.

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