John S. Chen, chairman/ceo/president of Sybase Inc., will join the Walt Disney Co. board of directors in January 2004, as ex-members Roy Disney and Stan Gold continue to publicly criticize the board and its actions.
Roy Disney was not invited to keep his seat on the Disney board and resigned in a much-publicized letter critical of Michael Eisner, Disney chairman/ceo. Disney had also exceeded the newly established age limit for the board. His longtime family friend and business consultant Stanley Gold also tendered his resignation to the Disney board. They now maintain a Website, SaveDisney.com, devoted to the welfare of The Walt Disney Co. and its future direction, said Disney.
"John Chen's more than two decades of success as a business leader, and his expertise in the field of technology, made him an excellent addition to the Disney board," said Eisner.
From a strategic perspective, some of Disney's most significant long-term growth opportunities reside in the smart use of technology, and John will help the board ensure we're steering the company in the right direction."
Chen said he was pleased to be invited to join the Disney board, and he is enthusiastic about the company's initiatives to take advantage of the latest trends in technology to develop content as well as distribute it in new and more efficient ways.
Born in Hong Kong and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Chen, 48, joined Sybase as president in 1997. He is credited with engineering that company's turnaround and sustained growth and profitability. Chen became chairman and ceo of Sybase in 1998. He started his career in technology with Unisys Corp., rising to group vp/gm. Before joining Sybase, he was president/ceo of a Bay-area division of Siemens Nixdorf Informationsysteme, A.G., which is headquartered in Germany.