In a slap at Michael Eisner, investors owning 43% of The Walt Disney Co.’s shares withheld their votes from re-election of the chairman and CEO. The move has no legal significance, but is a strong no-confidence vote in Eisner.
"Steve Case got bounced after shareholders withheld about 20%," said one Wall Street executive who attended the meeting in Philadelphia.
Dissident shareholders led by former board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold had expected investors to withhold just 30% of the votes. They’ve been seeking Eisner’s ouster, though not necessarily a sale to Comcast Corp., which has made a hostile $66 billion takeover offer for Disney.
Eisner and the Disney board are considering splitting the chairman and CEO roles. But that may not be enough for investors, some of whom attacked Eisner and Disney management harshly at the meeting.