Eisner’s Reign At Disney to End in 2006
We are different from companies not in the entertainment field. We are a creative company, and as a result, we are so much more. We must consider, develop, discard and reconsider, literally masses of ideas each day, based on few inexact criteria, using experience, talent, judgment, instinct and hope as our guides along with our education and experience and sense of fiscal responsibility. This is a complicated and risky process, unlike the manufacture and sale of a single or related line of product. We are judged by definitive standards. But it is the creative that pushes to new heights that which can be measured, that which has lasting value to our culture and company.
I believe we have learned who we are, and who we are not; what we do best, and what we don't. Of course, that does not mean we stagnate into a museum or play safe. It just means we play smart. There are so many opportunities available to utilize our core assets, our brands and capabilities around the world. We must be completely informed and involved in the future, in new technologies that can help us maintain our leadership in creating and distributing and protecting our content. We must be prudent entrepreneurs and pragmatic capitalists. We must not forget that we are always singing and dancing 'for our supper'.
We are determined to continue to improve our performance through our focused attention on our creative initiatives, from the Studio to the Media Networks, from our three-dimension worlds to our cyber future, from one end of the globe to the other. And I predict the combination of 'the definitive' and the creative at its core will result in a significant boost sooner rather than later. Having just returned from an Albert Einstein conference at the Aspen Institute, I am struck by his commitment to creativity. "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
I expect the next two years will be critical to the future of our company and that we must take advantage of the positive projections we anticipate. The momentum has changed. But in a sense, it is harder to manage a company in success than in failure. We now have to continue the teamwork and selflessness that marked the last couple of years. We have to maintain that spirit as the spotlight will find us more and more in the winners' circle.
It has been a fantastic Disney ride for the past 20 years. Ups and downs to be sure, but filled with great satisfaction in building this wonderful creator of classic American culture into one of the premiere entertainment oriented companies in the world. My affection for Disney will never retire. And, like our campaign, suggested by Jane in 1986 that seems to resonate for so many, I can only conclude by telling you what I am doing next. "I'm going to Disneyland!"
Sean Harrigan, president of CalPERS, said, "Eisner's resignation as ceo is the right move for shareowners. We believe he should resign from the board as well. It is not clear to us how a two-year lame duck ceo will benefit shareowners, and his continued presence on the board would prevent the company from the clean break that is needed to restore investor confidence.
On behalf of CalPERS, I want to renew our call for the Disney board to reveal as soon as possible their ceo succession plan. Working with the coalition of public pension funds on Disney issues, we intend to closely monitor further developments and will continue to engage constructively with the Board of Disney on all the issues related to long-term performance."