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Disney's Iger says Peltz proxy battle was a ‘distraction,' board is focused on picking his successor

·2 mins

Nelson Peltz’s proxy battle was a ‘distraction,’ and Disney can now focus on turning a streaming profit and planning succession, according to CEO Bob Iger. Iger stated that he can now spend all his time with the management team and the board on executing priorities. Peltz’s second proxy attempt did not impact Disney’s strategy for succession, business investments, or content plans. Choosing Iger’s successor is the board’s top priority. The succession committee has held meetings in 2023 and plans for more in 2024. Iger emphasized that Peltz’s activism did not drive recent stock gains. The market is reacting to Disney’s performance. The company’s shares are up 32% year-to-date, and they rallied in February after major announcements during its earnings call. Disney defeated Peltz’s Trian Fund Management in the battle for board seats at the investor meeting. Peltz lost the board seat race, and a second activist, Blackwells, also failed to win board seats. Iger has taken steps to improve Disney’s performance since returning to the helm in late 2022. He undid Chapek’s corporate structure and reduced the quantity of film and television projects. Iger announced a plan to invest $60 billion in Disney’s theme park business over the next 10 years. The next steps for Disney include a bundled sports service with Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox, as well as a standalone ESPN service available directly through Disney+. Iger aims to serve sports fans through these products. The flagship ESPN service will have more content than the ESPN component of the joint venture.