Disney board battles allegations on CEO selection process

MUMBAI:The independent members of The Walt Disney Co. board on 12 May issued a strong rebuke to two former members who have challenged the process used to select Robert Iger as the company's new chief executive.

The 10 non-management members of the 12-member board call the charges "baseless and inaccurate".


The statement came one day after the company reported a 30 percent rise in earnings for the second quarter according to agency reports.

Earlier in the week, ex-board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold filed a lawsuit against a few sitting board members, alleging that the process used to name a successor to longtime CEO Michael Eisner was biased in favor of Iger and did not adequately consider outside candidates.

The lawsuit has seeked to have the election nullified and in turn ask a Delaware court to prevent the company from modifying Iger's or Eisner's contracts.

The lawsuit interestingly did not name four board members as defendants. The implication if interpreted was that there was a dissension on the board and that the selection of Iger, though ultimately unanimous, was not initially supported by the full board.

The board statement defended the selection process as "thorough, careful and reasoned."

"At the end of the process, we unanimously concluded that Bob Iger was the best choice to lead the company forward as CEO," the company statement says. "The performance of the company in the period leading up to the selection and since that time only underscores our confidence in the selection we made."



Iger has called the lawsuit "completely without any basis." He also said Disney employees were "just plain fed up with all this."

Disney shares rose 8 cents to close at $25.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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