The mood was a lot more upbeat at The Walt Disney Co.s 2006 annual shareholders meeting today (March 10) at the Anaheim Pond, according to trade reports. The $7.4 billion Pixar deal (which will close in late April or early May) stole the show, Roy Disney was greeted with thunderous applause, John Lasseter wowed with a promise to revitalize Disney Feature animation and the introduction of new president/ceo Robert Iger was met with enthusiasm. Iger confirmed that Glen Keanes RAPUNZEL will remain a groundbreaking 3D-animated feature, but said hes skeptical about releasing the controversial SONG OF THE SOUTH on DVD.
Meanwhile, by an overwhelming margin, shareholders elected all 13 members of the board of directors, voting at least 94% in favor of each member and supporting all Board recommendations, based on preliminary results.
Disney chairman George J. Mitchell (who may be forced out by a succession plan) introduced members of the board of directors and welcomed shareholders at the meeting.
"Creating quality entertainment is our number one priority at The Walt Disney Co. today," said Iger, in remarks to investors. "We believe that a commitment to quality and creativity in its highest form, using technology to its fullest, crossing international borders and keeping consumers top of mind is the best way to manage and grow our businesses and deliver strong and consistent returns for our shareholders, for years to come."
Based on preliminary results, at least 1,547,910,731, or 94% of shares voted, were cast in favor of returning the following directors to the board:
John E. BrysonJohn S. ChenJudith L. EstrinRobert A. IgerFred H. LanghammerAylwin B. LewisMoncia C. LozanoRobert W. MatschullatGeorge J. MitchellLeo J. O'Donovan, S.J.John E. Pepper, Jr.Orin C. SmithGary L. Wilson
Final voting tallies are subject to certification by the company's inspector of elections, and will be included in the company's next quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Shareholders also ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company's independent accountants for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2006. The preliminary vote was 1,595,649,613 FOR and 28,821,267 AGAINST, with 19,172,039 abstentions.
In addition, shareholders agreed with the board in rejecting shareholder proposals regarding China labor standards and anti-greenmail payments.