Roy Disney Resigns from his uncle's fallen world.
The Oompa Lompas were all that was left of the original Walt Disney company, namely Roy Disney as a substantial stockholder, until today. Roy Disney has resigned and calls upon Eisner to do the same.
The Drudge Report once again has broken the story before all others:
Read onward for archived text from Drudge's website. It's impossible to link directly to articles due to Drudge's ever-morphing html pages.
I guess he's about as fed up as the rest of us have been for the last decade.
Taken from Matt Drudge's website:
ROY DISNEY RESIGNS; CALLS ON EISNER TO STEP ASIDE
Sun Nov 30 2003 16:32:17 ET
Walt Disney Co. Vice Chairman Roy E. Disney submitted his resignation from the company board on Sunday and called for Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner to step down from his own positions, the WALL STREET JOURNAL is reporting.
Disney, nephew to the late Walt Disney, sent Eisner a three-page letter severely criticizing his leadership during the past seven years:
'It is my sincere belief that it is you who should be leaving and not me,... Accordingly, I once again call for your resignation or retirement.'
WSJ reporter Bruce Orwall writes that in his letter Disney said that Eisner deserved credit for a successful first decade after taking the helm at Disney in 1984. But he then detailed seven areas in which he said Mr. Eisner has failed the company in the past seven years.
The list of complaints included everything from the performance of the struggling ABC broadcast networks and Disney theme parks to Mr. Eisner's reputation for "micro-management of everyone around you."
The resignation comes in advance of a Disney board meeting this week. Mr. Disney's letter seems to indicate that the Disney board's nominating committee had decided to leave his name off the slate of directors to be elected for the coming year. Mr. Disney also indicated that he would also resign from his position as chairman of Disney feature animation.
A Disney spokeswoman initially declined to comment.
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What most of the stories are NOT saying is that Roy is mainly leaving because of his age. Years ago the board unanimously voted in a maximum age, I believe it was 65. In the past, the board voted to override that rule for Roy (now 72). The board indicated it would NOT do it again. Thus, as the old cliche goes, Roy resigned "before he was fired". Two other board members, including Gold, are also not being allowed to have new terms due to age.
That Roy and Gold are using their exits to blast Eisner (no matter how one may feel about Eisner) simply sounds like bitter business execs. It is well known that Eisner and Disney have clashed since the mid-1990s. At a time when Disney had great power on the board (remember, he was the one who got Eisner in at Disney), he could have dealt with Eisner and possibly got him kicked out. Now that Disney has no power, he publicly condemns the studio hoping to shame the board into action.
Another thing most folks don't always know... It was Disney who continually pushed computer animation at the studio. Those who talked with him always mentioned his love for cgi and how it could/would replace 2D animation. Who knows... if the 2D had not been so profitable in the 90s for Eisner and company, the studio might have dumped their 2d unit years ago.
Well, partially true.. Disney and Gold were excempt due to being managing Directors as opposed to the limit on non-managing directors.
Also while Roy has loudly hailed CGI, he's also been the biggest proponent for 2d animation in the studio, he's done all he could to keep it alive. And he's been quite displeased at the cuts to 2D, and has used that loss in his departure.
Further, both Gold and Disney have said they aren't GONE by any stretch, they are doing this to unshackle themselves from board rules. Much as they both did when Disney quit last time in 1984. That resulted in his job as VP of Feature Animation (which has mostly been a title only recently) and the hiring of Eisner.
This is turning into a full force civil war in the mouse house. And as he's done in the past, Disney is taking huge risks with his position in the company in order to hold his ideals and what he believes to be his uncle's ideals true.
This assumes that Disney is a company in a normal state, my friend... while it's been painfully clear that it's been going downhill - and primarily due to bad management. Which began after Eisner came into the picture. Maybe you think it's a coincidence... but it seems unlikely to me, after all that I heard about Eisner.
Disney constantly pushed innovation, not preached love for a particular technique. He led the 2D animation department for years; he simply was trying to maintain Walt's course of defining new standards - while Eisner's seems all along to be following the lowest common denominator of the market.
While I am not an insider, it seems to me that Disney has been going downhill for years. Who is to blame?
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