Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 4
Here is a recent editorial from Business Week about the Board of Directors changes at Disney. Business Week, which is no fan of either Michael Eisner or the present Board had these positive comments;

MAY 13, 2002


Disney Gets the Message

Corporations seeking guidance on how to govern themselves in the post-Enron world should look at Walt Disney Co. (DIS ) In a dramatic reversal, Disney has gone from having one of the worst boards of directors in Corporate America to having one of the best. Michael Eisner, a reluctant reformer, is now showing other CEOs how to clean up their governance messes while restoring investor trust in the process.

For years, Disney hit the bottom in BusinessWeek's "The Best & the Worst Boards" surveys. The Disney board was invariably packed with Eisner pals, to say nothing of the likes of Robert A.M. Stern and former Senator George J. Mitchell, whose architectural and legal firms did work for Disney. The conflicts of interest pushed Disney onto the Worst list year after year.

With oversight from governance guru Ira Millstein, Disney now restricts key audit and compensation committees to independent directors. Outside directors hold meetings away from management, and they are restricted in the number of other boards they can sit on. Directors must own at least $100,000 in company stock, giving them a direct stake in the company's performance. And Disney is cutting all business relationships between board members and the company.

Also included are some positive comments on Disney's move to clean up its' accounting and executive compensation practices.

Disney also is bolstering the credibility of its financial reporting by using different firms for auditing and consulting. Disney is no longer repricing options, either. That forces managers to take the hit when things go wrong--just like other shareholders. Eisner's own rich compensation will be more tightly tied to refurbishing Disney's earnings prospects.

This kind of board should provide much better oversight of Disney's management and more honestly represent the company's shareholders. (One of its first tasks should be to insist that Eisner stop procrastinating and appoint a successor.

IMO it is a smart move by Disney to be proactive in making these changes as anyone looking to invest in this company can only view this a positive step for Disney.

And in closing BW had this to say about Disney;

The investor backlash against Enronitis has CEOs and boards everywhere scrambling to avoid liability. What they should be doing is rushing to build credibility. It is entirely possible. Disney just did it. Better late than never.

All in all a good note on these recent and long overdue changes.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.