Proxy-advisory Glass Lewis supports Disney management in the Boardroom Battle

On Monday, Walt Disney received a significant vote of confidence from a proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, urging shareholders to re-elect all current Directors amidst a highly contested boardroom battle. This recommendation, influential in shaping investor sentiment during crucial elections, dealt a setback to Trian Fund Management and Blackwells Capital, both advocating for new Board members to rejuvenate Disney’s direction.

Highlighting Disney’s recent financial performance under CEO Bob Iger, Glass Lewis termed it a “promising indication” of the company’s improving outlook. Disney’s efforts to bolster its streaming business profitability and revamp its film studio, including personnel changes and a planned $60 billion investment in parks over the next decade, were noted positively.

Glass Lewis acknowledged Disney’s proactive measures, such as appointing a new CFO, portfolio rationalisation, creative staff refreshment, and board additions, even during a period of stock price decline last year.

Despite acknowledging Disney’s past challenges and the potential rationale for shareholder intervention, Glass Lewis indicated growing traction for Disney’s initiatives. The Boardroom struggle intensified as Trian and Blackwells nominated candidates, with Disney adamantly rejecting their selections.

The dispute over Disney’s Board composition, marked by conflicting visions for its future, has become notably contentious and costly. ValueAct Capital and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon have backed Disney, whereas ISS, another prominent advisory firm, is yet to issue its report.


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