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Inside the Proxy Fight for the Future of Disney (and ESPN)

Mar 25, 2024

Shareholder proxy fights are normally about as far from the sports world as can be imagined, and they rarely elevate to any sort of mainstream zeitgeist. But the one now emerging around the Walt Disney Co. carries major ramifications for ESPN and the future leadership of Disney and, regardless of the battle’s outcome, will render significant impacts across the sports industry.

For months, billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz (above) and his Trian Fund Management have sought to gain two board seats when an election is held April 3 during Disney’s annual shareholder meeting. Peltz argues Disney needs to be far more aggressive on multiple fronts, including with regard to a succession plan for current CEO Bob Iger, clarifying ESPN’s digital strategy, overhauling the company’s TV and movie business, and bundling ESPN+ and Netflix.

On Monday, the divide grew as Trian additionally withheld its votes for Iger’s reelection to the board, according to a CNBC report.

Source: Front Office Sports

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