Disney CEO Bob Iger Settled All Family Business This Week
If you’ve ever wondered what the difference in high-quality corporate leadership looks like, The Walt Disney Company has demonstrated it this week.
A year ago, Walt Disney World cast members asked for support from leadership that took too long to arrive.
Today, a different Disney CEO has claimed two staggering victories within hours of one another.
Yes, Bob Iger has just settled all family business. Let’s take a moment to savor Disney’s victory lap.
Disney Fires Isaac Perlmutter
A long time ago, a street vendor in New York City earned his living by selling toys to tourists.
Over the years, this instinctive salesperson, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, honed his instincts and somehow caught lightning in a bottle.
Perlmutter’s toy company, Toy Biz, Inc., licensed Marvel products for one of its most profitable ventures.
When Marvel entered bankruptcy in 1996, Perlmutter recognized an opportunity almost nobody else saw.
The entrepreneur pulled together the financial backing to buy Marvel Entertainment in 1998, thereby beating a bid by Carl Icahn.
In some Sliding Doors scenario, Icahn has likely run a much calmer version of Marvel Pictures over the past 20 years.
Instead, the famously frugal Perlmutter became the bane of Disney’s existence. He nickel-and-dimed his staff in some ludicrous ways that don’t even pass the laugh test.
Former workers have recounted tales of Perlmutter complaining how wasteful they were with paper clips, arguing no office supply should hit the trash if it could be reused.
Many of us have had bosses like this…and we don’t miss them. Kevin Feige can relate, as he bore the brunt of Perlmutter’s chaos.
The Hollywood Executive reached a breaking point with Perlmutter in 2015 and debated leaving the company.
When Disney’s then-CEO, Bob Iger, heard the details, he sided with Feige.
Iger boldly restructured the company so that Feige reported to him, not Perlmutter.
Since that time, Perlmutter has harbored a grudge, one that came back to haunt Disney in 2022.
Two Bored Billionaires Come for Disney
Former CEO Bob Chapek never understood the significance of his company’s role in society.
The deposed Disney executive didn’t anticipate how many outsiders eyed Disney hungrily as a potential target.
Controlling Disney makes you the most powerful decision-making for societal storytelling in the world.
As Chapek struggled with a Florida political squabbling, he failed to recognize a second danger.
Perlmutter advised Chapek to meet with someone experienced in the ways of corporate machinations.
Eventually, Chapek agreed to speak with billionaire Nelson Peltz regarding better approaches to running Disney.
In that moment, Chapek risked the company’s future in a desperate attempt to save his own skin.
Little did Chapek know, Perlmutter and Peltz sought a board seat and more influence over the company’s decision-making.
Ultimately, Disney’s Board of Directors caught wind of the disaster unfolding. Perlmutter and Peltz’s interference directly led to Chapek’s demise.
The Board of Directors, fed up with Chapek’s mistake-prone tenure, reinstated Iger as Disney CEO.
However, the returning leader faced all the repercussions of Chapek’s errors in judgment.
Chief among them was the proxy battle for a spot on Disney’s Board. If Peltz had continued his push, Disney’s fate would be much different today.
Thankfully, the Board avoided that fate by bringing back a seasoned pro in Iger.
Soon afterward, Peltz recognized he couldn’t compete with Iger’s acumen and experience and dropped the bid.
The Disney CEO spent 15 years defending the castle from such attempts and would have won anyway.
When You Come for the King…
Peltz gave up his proxy battle once Iger agreed to layoffs, the first of which started this week.
However, Bob Iger isn’t without a sense of humor or a vindictive streak.
Some of the initial layoffs include some big names…including Ike Perlmutter.
Yes, in a glorious twist of fate, karma came calling for Marvel’s savior and would-be destroyer.
Iger employed the excuse of the very layoffs Perlmutter and Peltz requested to cut all ties with the now-former executive.
Hilariously, Disney’s CEO didn’t stop there. He sent a message with a pair of other moves.
Disney also laid off Robert Steffins, the co-CEO and CFO of Marvel Entertainment, and John Turitzin, a longtime Perlmutter ally.
Turitzin had worked as outside counsel for Marvel during the 1990s. Later, Perlmutter brought him on board as chief legal counsel.
Meanwhile, Steffins was an early disciple of Perlmutter who briefly left the company before returning in 2015 during his boss’s internal battle with Feige.
Both men passed many Perlmutter loyalty tests over the years, with Steffins still directly reporting to his old boss until this week.
In terminating the executives, Iger established that the Perlmutter era has ended.
These two swore fealty to the wrong liege and have lost their power because of it. I keep telling y’all that this is Game of Thrones, and here’s your latest proof.
Iger’s Other Big Win
That sound you heard today was Disney cackling with glee.
The new board members for the former Reedy Creek Improvement District spent their morning shouting, “Hey, no fair!”
Once Disney executives recognized what was happening politically, they lawyered up and strategized about the best plans to protect their interests.
This morning, the panelists for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) met in a special meeting that was funny in and of itself.
During their first meeting, these would-be headline-generators announced the intent to meet again at the end of March.
At the time, the board members learned that due to the rules in place for this committee, they couldn’t meet until April 12th.
The new board chose to hold a special meeting this morning anyway, which is a tell-tale sign of how they intend to behave.
Well, something changed between the last meeting and this one, as the new board had grown aware of what MickeyBlog has stated all along.
Disney knew what was coming and planned ahead. Specifically, during its last meeting as the controlling board for Reedy Creek, Disney empowered itself.
FYI: In 30 Years, It’ll Be 2053
As the new board has discovered, Disney signed the paperwork that gives it complete control of many Walt Disney World controlling interests…for 30 years.
Yes, the new filings require the CFTOD board to receive approval from Disney for any major changes. And Disney’s never gonna give them that approval, y’all!
Meet the King Charles III clause:
The clause about King Charles III is absolutely real. The agreement — from the 2/8/23 Reedy Creek board meeting — can be found on https://t.co/6ZQMDUaVME. It appears to have been posted days after @GovRonDeSantis signed the law he says was “ending the Corporate Kingdom”. 5/ pic.twitter.com/CT9hYyIr28
— Mike DeForest (@DeForestNews6) March 29, 2023
In short, the new panelists have been on the job for less than a month and already recognized they’re completely impotent.
This news won’t stop them from trying to generate headlines at Disney’s expense, but it’s an absolutely hysterical turn of events.
Some overconfident interlopers tried to put Disney in its place, only to discover that they’d picked the dumbest fight possible.
The panelists have already indicated that they’ve hired two outside legal teams to find holes in Disney’s legal filings.
However, that strategy is unlikely to succeed. Iger realized that Florida legislators felt fine with manipulating longstanding rules of governance to make a point.
Disney’s CEO has done the same with the updated terms for Walt Disney World policies.
The new CFTOD has announced its intent to take this matter all the way to the Supreme Court if needed, but that’s an empty, telling threat in and of itself.
When you’re talking in those terms, you already know you’re facing an uphill battle to win. In fact, you’re basically acknowledging you’ve already lost.
In other words, Bob Iger just claimed two flawless victories in a matter of hours. He’s also in the heads of his opponents, which is the icing on the cake.
I’ll say what we’re all thinking, folks. Disney is in better hands with Iger as CEO, and I hope he stays for several more years.
Stay tuned to MickeyBlog for more Disney news.
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