Disney taps former P&G's John E. Pepper as chairman

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company has elected independent Disney director and former Procter & Gamble chairman and CEO John E. Pepper, Jr., to serve as non-executive chairman of the board with effect from 1 January 2007.

Pepper will succeed Senator George J. Mitchell, who has served as Disney chairman since March 2004.

Last December, the Disney Board of Directors requested that Senator Mitchell postpone his planned retirement at the 2006 annual meeting of shareholders and stand for re-election to facilitate an orderly chairman succession process. With the selection of his successor as chairman now in place, Senator Mitchell will step down and retire from the board on 31 December 2006.

"Since joining the Disney Board, John has quickly immersed himself in our business and shared his broad and deep expertise in corporate management, global brand building and leadership development. In John's leadership of the board, Disney's shareholders will benefit from his notable record of success in leading and growing one of the world's largest consumer products companies. He is a man of great integrity and we all look forward to working with him in his new role," said The Walt Disney Company president and CEO c.

"I have had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Senator Mitchell for many years, both as a director and as chairman. He is an extraordinary leader with numerous and significant accomplishments both nationally and internationally. The Walt Disney Company has benefited greatly from George's wisdom and leadership, and I am deeply appreciative of having him as our chairman during my first year as CEO," he added.

Senator Mitchell stated, "During the past year, the board undertook a very thoughtful and deliberative approach to the chairman succession process. With the election of John as chairman, Disney will benefit from his outstanding leadership skills and unique experience in cultivating global brands. It has been a true privilege for me to serve the shareholders of Disney and we will now begin a smooth transition with John."

Pepper said, "I am incredibly honoured to be elected the next chairman of the world's preeminent entertainment company. The board recognises the trust investors have placed in us with respect to corporate governance and long term shareholder value creation. I look forward to continuing my close collaboration with the directors and senior management as the company takes full advantage of the significant and exciting opportunities before us to grow and build our brands and businesses worldwide."

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