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Disney Family Rallies Around Bob Iger Against Nelson Peltz Proxy Fight

It’s a continuous battle with good versus evil as the Nelson Peltz proxy fight continues against Disney. This time, the extended Disney family, which includes the grandchildren of Walt and Roy Disney, are joining forces to oppose Nelson Peltz, an activist investor who is waging a proxy battle for board seats. There are nine heirs who are in agreement with Disney CEO Bob Iger, including Abigail Disney, who has been a harsh critic of Iger in recent years.

In a telephone interview with the New York Times, Roy P. Disney said, “these activists must be defeated. They are not interested in preserving the Disney magic, but stripping it to the bone to make a quick profit for themselves.”

In a letter to Disney shareholders, viewed by The New York Times, they call Peltz and a handful of other activist investors encircling Disney “wolves in sheep’s clothing. It is imperative that the strategy Bob Iger, his management team and the board of directors have implemented is not disrupted,” the letter says. Their cousins, grandchildren of Walt Disney, sent a letter of their own echoing those sentiments.

Abigail Disney, who has criticized the Disney company in the past, said “I have my differences with Bob Iger, but I know for a fact that the worst thing that could happen to the company is Nelson Peltz.”

Peltz is campaigning for two seats on Disney’s board of 12, one for himself and one for former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, who left in 2015 after being passed over as Iger’s heir apparent. Peltz is aligned with Ike Perlmutter, a sharp-elbowed former Disney employee who is one of the company’s largest independent shareholders. Perlmutter sold Marvel Entertainment to Disney in 2009, and was pushed out of the company last year.

The proxy fight around Disney extends beyond Peltz. Blackwells Capital, a hedge fund, is hoping to add three seats on Disney’s board, saying that “Iger needs help navigating the fast-changing media and technology businesses.” Disney, however, opposes the effort. 

In an email statement, Iger responded, “I approach every day at Disney with a deep sense of respect for everything Walt and Roy created, and it is incredibly meaningful to have the support of their families. We are committed to protecting their legacy as we chart Disney’s path ahead.”

The Disney family has not been involved in managing any aspects of the company since Roy E. Disney stepped down from the board in 2003. He subsequently led a shareholder revolt called “Save Disney” from 2003-2005 that resulted in Michael Eisner’s resignation as CEO in 2005, which led to the appointment of Bob Iger as CEO.

Stay tuned for more about this story from Daps Magic. What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below.

Letters from Disney Family

An Open Letter to Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company,

As the grandchildren of Roy O. Disney, we grew up with a front row seat to the magic that fuels the remarkable company he and his brother Walt Disney built together. We spent our childhoods on the studio lot watching movies get made. We explored Disneyland with the creative geniuses behind the happiest place on earth. We saw the passion Walt and Roy had for creating life-long memories for children and families, and the infectious joy they got out of the work they did.

From Mickey and Minnie, to Snow White and Mary Poppins, Disney is not a company that makes widgets – it makes magic. And it takes a special group of leaders with a deep respect and understanding for this tradition to develop the kinds of incredible experiences – whether in a theme park, at a movie theatre, or in your own home – that touch people’s hearts.

Bob Iger, his management team, and the Board of Directors are faithful to this magic. They understand that the longevity of The Walt Disney Company isn’t only the result of smart business decisions; it is rooted in the strong emotional connection Disney continues to forge with generations of people from around the globe.

We may not agree about everything, but we know that our grandfather would be especially proud of what Disney means to the world today. We also know that, like us, he would be very concerned by the threat posed by self-anointed “activist investors” who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, just waiting to tear Disney apart if they can trick shareholders into opening the door for them.

What concerns us most about these hedge-fund-backed opportunists is that they have little to no knowledge of what Disney truly means to people like you. They haven’t made any arguments for why they should be entrusted with the keys to the kingdom our family built. To the contrary, their “I alone can fix it” mentality makes clear that they are not interested in preserving the Disney magic, but stripping it to the bone to make a quick profit for themselves.

We’re old enough to remember the bitter episode four decades ago when another corporate raider, Saul Steinberg — who, as it so happens, was good friends with one of the current activists, Nelson Peltz — launched a hostile takeover attempt of Disney and threatened to break apart the company. He was defeated, much as these activists must be defeated today.

This is not a company of interchangeable parts. It is home to thousands and thousands of dedicated employees who share the same passion Walt and Roy had for bringing hope and happiness to people through the magic of storytelling. Disney is lucky to be led by people who are looking to the future while drawing guidance from our cherished past. As The Walt Disney Company charts its path forward, it is imperative that the strategy Bob Iger, his management team, and the Board of Directors have implemented is not disrupted by those motivated by nothing more than their own self-interest.

Disney stories are filled with heroes and villains. We know who the villains are in this story, and we know they cannot be entrusted with protecting this company’s rich legacy or guiding its bright future.


Roy P. Disney
Susan Disney Lord
Abigail E. Disney
Tim Disney

To the Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company,

As the family of Walt Disney, we support The Walt Disney Company management and its Board of Directors, and oppose the nominations put forth by Nelson Peltz. The integrity in the name of Walt Disney has always been a priority to our family. Our mother — Diane Disney Miller, Walt’s eldest daughter — created The Walt Disney Family Museum to ensure that the history of her father’s life and those involved in the creation of his dreams would be honored and remembered. We still believe in this brand of integrity and storytelling.

Bob Iger has grown this company in a modern world, and he continues to maintain a balance of creativity and profit. It is still a company based on the desire to entertain and explore. There have been challenging times, but this current management has adjusted and grown through those challenges.

We are never without gratitude and pride for our grandfather and being a part of this family, and we will always cherish the memories and the life that we had with him. With this gratitude, it matters to us what the company does and how Walt Disney is represented.

As such, we support Bob Iger and The Walt Disney Company Board.


Walter Elias Disney Miller
Tamara Diane Miller
Jennifer Miller-Goff
Joanna Sharon Miller


3 responses to “Disney Family Rallies Around Bob Iger Against Nelson Peltz Proxy Fight”

  1. Terrance Eiteljorge Avatar
    Terrance Eiteljorge

    This is all well and good and I have ALWAYS backed Disney in the past HOWEVER, how do we know that DIS is going to turn their backs on this “WOKE” BS and return to family-friendly entertainment? Neither I nor my grandson need to see stories attempting to normalize same-sex relationships and other progressive themes! If you need that to feel fulfilled then you need to do it without me and my vote. I don’t foist my beliefs on you and you shouldn’t foist yours on me! If this makes me a dinosaur, that’s fine; I’ll celebrate it.

  2. Joseph Michael Costa Avatar
    Joseph Michael Costa

    I agree with Disney family. Everytime these vultures want to invest and take over has lead to total destruction of brands like Sears, Kmart, Christmas tree, and a large list of brands that lasted many lifetimes. Now they want to do the same to pick the park to death and feed on the bones.

  3. Lawrence P Gillen Avatar
    Lawrence P Gillen

    The new Disney is to woke and needs to bring back values that most Americans share. I voted for Peltz he’s a family man that want to return Disney to glory.

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