Disney sets date for annual shareholder meeting amid proxy battle
Disney has finally revealed the date for its annual shareholder meeting, a virtual event to be held on Monday, April 3 at 10 a.m. PT.
It has been a highly anticipated piece of information amid a spate of SEC filings as Trian Group activist investor Nelson Peltz seeks a seat on the board in opposition to the company’s own slate.
Trian recommends that shareholders vote against one director who endorses Disney, Michael Froman, and elect Peltz instead. The activist has objected to the company’s succession planning, and would like to see improvements, among other things, just as former long-time chief Bob Iger is back as CEO, having replaced Bob Chapek, and Disney prepares to report quarterly earnings on Wednesday. and possibly other news from restructurings to layoffs.
The meetings, for Disney’s fiscal year ending in September, are usually early to mid-March.
Trian says Peltz’s experience makes him better positioned than Froman “to help the board improve accountability, align executive compensation with shareholder interests, plan leadership successions, addressing operational challenges and improving capital allocation practices.”
Disney calls Froman’s contributions invaluable, saying that having Peltz on the board “would threaten Disney’s strategic management during a period of significant change in the media landscape.”
This is a zero sum game as there are 11 directors and now 12 nominees for shareholders to vote at the meeting. Each party has been or will soon be sending out ballots and supporting materials. The 11 candidates with the most votes win.
Trian isn’t disputing Iger’s CEO role or the company’s current configuration, but sees Peltz as a “new perspective to improve the performance” of Disney’s powerful assets after some stumbles and a falling stock price. It is fighting an aggressive battle with a special website called Restore The Magic