Former Walt Disney Imagineer President Bob Weis Supports Disney CEO Bob Iger in Ongoing Proxy Fight

Former Walt Disney Imagineer Bob Weis has come out in support of Disney CEO Bob Iger in an ongoing proxy fight that sees activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Group seeking two sees on the Disney Board of Directors. If he gets his way, Peltz would like to gain a spot on the board for himself and also for former Disney executive Jay Rasulo. This is an effort that Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney leadership oppose.

Today, former Walt Disney Imagineering President Bob Weis spoke out in support of Bob Iger’s leadership of The Walt Disney Company. In a post on Instagram, Weis said the following:

I have been in this business for almost four decades. Bob Iger is a mentor and guiding North Star for me.

Disney exists because of a synergy between story and art and place making and experience and quality. Weave those together and they form a successful business plan, because people have a high expectation, and an emotional connection that needs to be respected, fostered and expanded.

As Walt himself said, “we keep moving forward.” Bob Iger has kept us moving forward by investing in talent and ideas, respecting the past but insisting on an innovative future, and being willing to experiment even when the odds sometimes look tough.

Without this level of leadership grounded in storytelling, experience, art, talent recognition and moving ahead, it’s a rudderless ship; enormous potential with no ability to steer. I was grateful for each meeting I had with Bob, however challenging he might have been with us, and I remain grateful the company I care so much about continues under his steady hand. He makes it look easy—but no one should make the mistake of thinking it is.


Weis played a significant role in the late 80s with the creation of what was then Disney-MGM Studios, now Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He joined Disney in 1980 in Walt Disney Imagineering. During his first run with Imagineering, he worked on Disney’s Hollywood Studios and also Tokyo DisneySea. He left Disney in 1994 to start his own business. However, he returned to Imagineering in 2007 as executive vice president where oversaw the development of Cars Land and other parts of the transformation of Disney California Adventure. In 2016, Weis became the president of Walt Disney Imagineering. Part of this role was being responsible for all of the creative and design aspects for Shanghai Disney Resort. In December 2021, he transitioned to his final role as the Global Imagineering Ambassador before retiring on January 2, 2023.

Throughout his career, Weis held many different positions at Walt Disney Imagineering in many different parks and countries. This included Disney’s Hollywood Studios (at the time, Disney-MGM Studios), Tokyo DisneySea, and the reimagining of Disney California Adventure. He also led the creative team for the development, design, and construction of Shanghai Disney Resort.

The statement comes after the proxy fight recently escalated. Nelson Peltz and his Trian Partners released a 133-page white paper where he outlined his demands for Disney to restructure its leadership, overhaul Disney’s linear television channels, and also achieve Netflix-like margins of 15% to 20% by 2027 with its streaming services. Some of these demands are already being implemented by Disney. Nelson Peltz and Trian Partners would also like to see both Peltz and former Disney executive Jay Rasulo placed on Disney’s Board of Directors.

Following the release of the white paper, Disney released a video warning of the dangers of Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo. Disney argues that their approach would be “disruptive and destructive.” Disney also recently reported a very strong quarter that showed the company heading in the right direction. However, Peltz and the company were not assuaged.

The support from Bob Weis comes out after others have recently voiced their public support for Bob Iger and Disney’s leadership. George Lucas recently spoke out in favor of Bob Iger’s leadership and spoke out against the lack of experience of Nelson Peltz. Independent proxy voting advisory firm Glass Lewis advised Disney shareholders to vote for Disney’s 12 nominees for its board. The grandchildren of both Walt and Roy O. Disney have spoken in support of Bob Iger and the Board of Directors. The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, also backed Bob Iger and the board. Nelson Peltz has not seen the same level of public support at this point. However, there is still time.

This ongoing proxy fight will be determined when Disney shareholders’ votes are counted at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting on April 3, 2024. The meeting is virtual and Daps Magic will be covering it. What do you think of Bob Weis speaking out in support of Bob Iger and the Walt Disney Company’s leadership? Do you think it was the right call? How do you think this proxy fight will play out? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!