Disney Stonewalled Nelson Peltz Before He Launched His Proxy Battle
Before launching his public proxy battle, Nelson Peltz spend most of last fall trying to get a meeting with Disney executives.
Peltz claims that initially he made headway with the company, before Disney began to stonewall him.
Former CEO Bob Chapek refused to meet with Peltz, instead passing him off to Christine McCarthy, Disney’s chief financial officer. McCarthy in turn passed Peltz off to senior executive VP and general counsel Horacio Gutierrez.
As Disney’s stock price plummeted throughout November, Peltz became increasingly frustrated.
A Shocking Return
Then, the Disney company shocked the business world on November 20, when they announced that Bob Chapek would be removed as CEO and Bob Iger would be returning to the helm.
While the news certainly surprised Nelson Peltz, who had not counted on dealing with the extremely popular former CEO, he continued his attempts to meet with Disney brass.
As autumn turned to winter, Peltz continued to receive a runaround from Disney. When he tried to schedule a meeting with Iger in December, he was told that the CEO was sailing and wouldn’t be available until January.
Finally, Peltz called Iger on December 20, 2022 and told him that if the company did not grant him a board seat, he would mount a proxy fight.
A Fateful Meeting
Disney responded quickly, and in early January Peltz traveled cross-country to Burbank to meet with Iger and the Disney board.
When Peltz arrived a the meeting on January 10, 2023, he was surprised to find that none of the Disney board members appeared in person. Instead, he was greeted by Iger, McCarthy and Gutierrez. The Disney board did appear via zoom, however Peltz’s deck was met with silence.
Peltz left the meeting resolute in his conclusion that an open proxy battle was his only option.
For their part, Disney has refused to comment on Peltz’s latest revelations. Instead, the company pointed to the Feb. 6 proxy filing that details the company’s communication with Peltz.
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