March 14, 2005
Burbank, CA -- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Board of Directors announced today that Robert A. Iger has been unanimously elected Chief Executive Officer effective September 30, 2005. He will succeed Michael D. Eisner, current CEO, who announced his intention to retire in a letter to the Board last year dated September 9, and will step down as CEO on September 30, 2005.
"After a lengthy, thorough and professional selection process, comparing both internal and external candidates against our criteria for CEO, I am pleased to announce the decision of the Walt Disney Board of Directors to select Robert Iger as the company's next chief executive officer," said Sen. George J. Mitchell, chairman of The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors. "Bob is an experienced, talented and visionary leader who has made crucial and substantial contributions toward Disney's strong performance. On behalf of the entire Board, I want to express how excited we are at the prospect of Bob leading this extraordinary company and talented management team to new levels of financial and creative success in the years ahead."
"It is truly an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of guiding this great company that occupies such an important place in the hearts and minds of millions the world over toward a very bright future," said Iger. "It's also an honor to work with our incredibly talented and dedicated worldwide team. I feel all the more privileged to succeed Michael, whose tremendous 20-year leadership and enormous accomplishments have built this company into the world's preeminent leader in family entertainment."
"It is with a considerable amount of satisfaction and even pride that I approach the end of my term as CEO of this company," said Michael D. Eisner, former chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. "By every financial and creative measure, Disney is performing at its peak. I have enjoyed virtually every moment of my tenure and want to express my appreciation to the phenomenal colleagues with whom I have been privileged to work. I believe Disney is now poised for its brightest days in the years ahead under the able and insightful leadership of Bob, who has not only the qualities to succeed, but also has a keen sense of the Disney brand and how to maintain its leadership position and grow it on a worldwide scale."
The election of Mr. Iger culminates a lengthy and detailed CEO selection process that started formally when the Disney Board announced on September 21, 2004 that it would, "engage in a thorough, careful, and reasoned process to select as the next CEO the best person for the company, its shareholders, employees, customers, and for the many millions of others who care so much about The Walt Disney Company. The Board is keenly aware of the special place our company holds in the hearts of people all over the world and the importance of its responsibility in choosing a CEO." The Board also made known that day its intention to "complete the process and announce a successor as soon as possible, with an expected date of completion of June 2005."
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