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Nasdaq leads market decline, Bitcoin tumbles after new record

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger is doing his best not to get distracted by ongoing proxy battles.

“I work very hard not to let this distract me because if I get distracted, everyone who works for me gets distracted and that’s not a good thing,” Iger said Tuesday at Morgan Stanley’s media and telecom conference.

The executive pointed out the complexity of running Disney’s multi-faceted businesses as several segments, such as streaming, face increasing disruption.

“Are [a business] that requires not only a significant amount of knowledge, but also an enormous amount of time and focus,” he said. “This campaign is, in a way, designed to distract us. …Time and focus are needed to generate what we need to generate for shareholders.”

Iger’s comments come after Trian published a 130-page white paper on Monday, blaming the board for Disney’s underperformance and criticizing members for a lack of “focus, alignment and accountability.”

Disney faces challenges including a declining linear TV business, slower growth in its parks business and losses in streaming. Last year, activist investor Nelson Peltz of hedge fund Trian Fund Management renewed his bid to shake up the company’s board as its stock price hit a multi-year low.

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Peltz is currently seeking board seats for himself, along with former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. Another investment firm, Blackwells Capital, is backing the company’s current board but has urged shareholders to vote for the three nominees to complement it.

If the proxy battle continues until a vote, a shareholder meeting on April 3 will ultimately determine the board’s fate.

Disney stock has fought its way back from record lows, with shares up about 11% year over year. Since the start of 2024, shares are up about 25%, faster than the S&P 500’s 6% gain over the same period.

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