George Lucas Backs Bob Iger in Disney Proxy Fight: What It Means for Disney Magic

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Disney Proxy Fight

Hey Disney fans! In a move that has sent ripples through the entertainment industry, George Lucas, the visionary behind the Star Wars saga and Lucas Film, has thrown his considerable influence behind Disney CEO Bob Iger and the current Disney Board in the face of a proxy battle instigated by Trian Partners and Blackwells. This endorsement isn’t just a footnote in the ongoing saga of corporate maneuvers; it’s a powerful statement from one of the most respected figures in the world of storytelling and entertainment. Let’s unpack what Lucas’s support means in the context of the Disney proxy fight and why it matters.

The Magic Behind the Endorsement

George Lucas’s statement, shared with CNBC, begins with a poignant remark: “Creating magic is not for amateurs.” This opening salvo sets the tone for his wholehearted endorsement of Bob Iger and the Disney Board. Lucas’s journey from the creator of one of the most beloved franchises in history to a major Disney shareholder gives him a unique perspective on what it takes to steer such a colossal and culturally significant company. His confidence in Iger is not just based on past successes but on a shared vision of what Disney represents in the hearts and minds of its global audience.

Lucas’s decision to back Iger and the board is rooted in his own experiences with Disney, both before and after the sale of Lucasfilm. His initial delight at becoming a Disney shareholder was a testament to his admiration for the company’s legacy and Iger’s leadership. The return of Iger to the helm in a challenging time for Disney has clearly reassured Lucas that the company is in the right hands.

Here is the statement as shared with CNBC:

“Creating magic is not for amateurs. When I sold Lucasfilm just over a decade ago, I was delighted to become a Disney shareholder because of my long-time admiration for its iconic brand and Bob Iger’s leadership. When Bob recently returned to the company during a difficult time, I was relieved. No one knows Disney better. I remain a significant shareholder because I have full faith and confidence in the power of Disney and Bob’s track record of driving long-term value. I have voted all of my shares for Disney’s 12 directors and urge other shareholders to do the same.” – George Lucas

The Weight of Legacy and Leadership

The significance of Lucas’s endorsement extends beyond his personal stake in the company. It’s a nod to the importance of experienced leadership and a deep understanding of Disney’s unique culture in navigating the future. Lucas emphasizes his “full faith and confidence” in the power of Disney and Iger’s track record, urging other shareholders to recognize the value of stable, visionary leadership in the face of external challenges.

This endorsement comes at a critical time for Disney, as it faces off against Nelson Peltz and his allies, who are portrayed by the company as threats to its long-term health. The backing of Lucas, along with other prominent voices like the family of Walt and Roy Disney and the shareholder service firm Glass Lewis, reinforces the narrative that Iger and the current Disney Board represents the best path forward for Disney.

More Than Just Business

George Lucas’s relationship with Disney is deeply personal and spans decades. From his early fascination with Disneyland to the integration of the Star Wars franchise into the Disney parks, Lucas has been intertwined with the Disney brand in ways that go beyond the boardroom. His decision to sell Lucasfilm to Disney was not just a business move but a passing of the torch to a company he believed could steward his creation into the future.

Despite past disagreements over the direction of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Lucas’s endorsement of Iger suggests a belief in the CEO’s respect for creative visions and the importance of supporting the creative community. This stance is particularly poignant in light of recent industry challenges, including the writers’ strike, where Iger’s leadership style has been both criticized and lauded.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Disney

As Disney shareholders weigh their votes in the proxy fight, Lucas’s endorsement serves as a powerful reminder of what’s at stake. The battle is not just about board seats or short-term gains; it’s about the soul of a company that has been a beacon of creativity and imagination for nearly a century. With Lucas and other influential figures rallying behind Iger, the message is clear: the future of Disney should be guided by those who understand and respect its legacy.

In the end, the Disney proxy fight is more than a corporate skirmish; it’s a testament to the enduring importance of visionary leadership in the face of change. As shareholders cast their votes, they’re not just deciding the composition of the board; they’re shaping the future of a company that has, in many ways, defined the landscape of entertainment. With George Lucas’s endorsement, Bob Iger and the Disney Board have received a significant vote of confidence in their ability to keep the magic alive for generations to come.

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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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