Disney Family Rallies Behind Bob Iger in Proxy Battle: A United Front for Magic and Legacy

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Iger in proxy battle

Hey Disney fans! In a heartwarming display of unity and tradition, the Disney family has come out in full support of CEO Bob Iger in proxy battle that has the potential to reshape the future of the Walt Disney Company. This isn’t just about business strategies or boardroom politics; this high-stakes battle is about preserving the magic and legacy of a brand that has become synonymous with childhood memories, dreams, and storytelling across generations.

The Disney Family Speaks Out

In two poignant open letters, the descendants of Walt Disney and his brother Roy O. Disney have made their stance clear: they stand with Bob Iger, his management team, and the current Board of Directors. This support comes at a critical time when the company faces challenges from investment firms Trian Partners and Blackwells Capital, each looking to alter the company’s board composition and, potentially, its future direction.

The letters, penned by both the Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney branches of the family, are not just formal endorsements. They are heartfelt affirmations of the values and vision that have guided the Walt Disney Company since its inception. The family members eloquently remind us that Disney is not just a company; it’s a custodian of magic, a storyteller that has touched hearts around the world, and a legacy that continues to inspire.

The Importance of Leadership

The Disney family’s support for Bob Iger is not unfounded. Under his leadership, Disney has seen unprecedented growth, navigating the complexities of the modern entertainment landscape with grace and innovation. Iger’s return as CEO was a strategic move, aimed at steering the company through turbulent times and ensuring its continued success and relevance.

The letters highlight the unique challenges and opportunities Disney faces, emphasizing the need for leaders who understand and respect the company’s history and ethos. Bob Iger and his team are credited with maintaining a delicate balance between creativity and profitability, ensuring Disney remains a powerhouse of entertainment while staying true to its core values.

A History of Resilience

The Disney family’s intervention is reminiscent of past challenges, notably the successful shareholder revolt led by Roy E. Disney against former CEO Michael Eisner. This historical context underscores the family’s significant influence and their commitment to safeguarding the company’s future.

The letters also reference a darker period in Disney’s history, drawing parallels with the current situation. The family recalls the hostile takeover attempt by Saul Steinberg four decades ago, a crisis averted thanks to the unity and resolve of Disney’s leadership and stakeholders. This historical victory serves as a rallying cry, a reminder of the strength found in unity and shared purpose.

The Letters: Unwavering Voices of Support

The open letters from the Disney family are powerful testimonials to their unwavering support for Bob Iger and the current management. Here, without alteration, are their messages to shareholders, embodying their hope, pride, and commitment to the Disney legacy.

Walt Disney Family’s Open Letter:

To the Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, As the family of Walt Disney, we support The Walt Disney Company management and its Board of Directors, and oppose the nominations put forth by Nelson Peltz.

The integrity in the name of Walt Disney has always been a priority to our family. Our mother — Diane Disney Miller, Walt’s eldest daughter — created The Walt Disney Family Museum to ensure that the history of her father’s life and those involved in the creation of his dreams would be honored and remembered. We still believe in this brand of integrity and storytelling.

Bob Iger has grown this company in a modern world, and he continues to maintain a balance of creativity and profit. It is still a company based on the desire to entertain and explore. There have been challenging times, but this current management has adjusted and grown through those challenges. We are never without gratitude and pride for our grandfather and being a part of this family, and we will always cherish the memories and the life that we had with him. With this gratitude, it matters to us what the company does and how Walt Disney is represented.

As such, we support Bob Iger and The Walt Disney Company Board.


Walter Elias Disney Miller Tamara Diane Miller Jennifer Miller-Goff Joanna Sharon Miller.

Roy O. Disney Family’s Open Letter:

As the grandchildren of Roy O. Disney, we grew up with a front row seat to the magic that fuels the remarkable company he and his brother Walt Disney built together. We spent our childhoods on the studio lot watching movies get made. We explored Disneyland with the creative geniuses behind the happiest place on earth. We saw the passion Walt and Roy had for creating life-long memories for children and families, and the infectious joy they got out of the work they did. From Mickey and Minnie, to Snow White and Mary Poppins, Disney is not a company that makes widgets – it makes magic. And it takes a special group of leaders with a deep respect and understanding for this tradition to develop the kinds of incredible experiences – whether in a theme park, at a movie theatre, or in your own home – that touch people’s hearts.

Bob Iger, his management team, and the Board of Directors are faithful to this magic. They understand that the longevity of The Walt Disney Company isn’t only the result of smart business decisions; it is rooted in the strong emotional connection Disney continues to forge with generations of people from around the globe.

We may not agree about everything, but we know that our grandfather would be especially proud of what Disney means to the world today. We also know that, like us, he would be very concerned by the threat posed by self-anointed “activist investors” who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, just waiting to tear Disney apart if they can trick shareholders into opening the door for them.

What concerns us most about these hedge-fund-backed opportunists is that they have little to no knowledge of what Disney truly means to people like you. They haven’t made any arguments for why they should be entrusted with the keys to the kingdom our family built. To the contrary, their “I alone can fix it” mentality makes clear that they are not interested in preserving the Disney magic, but stripping it to the bone to make a quick profit for themselves. We’re old enough to remember the bitter episode four decades ago when another corporate raider, Saul Steinberg — who, as it so happens, was good friends with one of the current activists, Nelson Peltz — launched a hostile takeover attempt of Disney and threatened to break apart the company. He was defeated, much as these activists must be defeated today.

This is not a company of interchangeable parts. It is home to thousands and thousands of dedicated employees who share the same passion Walt and Roy had for bringing hope and happiness to people through the magic of storytelling. Disney is lucky to be led by people who are looking to the future while drawing guidance from our cherished past. As The Walt Disney Company charts its path forward, it is imperative that the strategy Bob Iger, his management team, and the Board of Directors have implemented is not disrupted by those motivated by nothing more than their own self-interest. Disney stories are filled with heroes and villains. We know who the villains are in this story, and we know they cannot be entrusted with protecting this company’s rich legacy or guiding its bright future.


Roy P. Disney Susan Disney Lord Abigail E. Disney Tim Disney

A Legacy Worth Fighting For

As the Disney proxy battle unfolds, the Disney family’s support for Bob Iger is a poignant reminder of what’s at stake. It’s not just about business strategies or financial outcomes; it’s about preserving a legacy of magic, storytelling, and dreams. The Disney family’s letters are a call to action for all stakeholders to protect the essence of Disney, ensuring it remains a source of joy and inspiration for generations to come.

In a world where corporate narratives are often dominated by financial metrics and shareholder value, the Disney family’s stance is a refreshing reminder of the enduring power of legacy, values, and emotional connection. As shareholders prepare to cast their votes, the message is clear: the Disney magic, and the leadership that protects it, is worth rallying for.

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Meet the Author: Nate Bishop

I’m a die-hard Disney fan with 38 years of visits under my belt, having stepped into Disney World 120+ times. Proud to be a Disney Annual Passholder, a Vacation Club member since ’92, a Castaway Club Member, and a runDisney enthusiast. Oh, and I’ve graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge. Need Disney insights or planning tips? I’m your guy!


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