Activist Walt Disney Co.
investor Ancora Holdings Group on Tuesday exhorted the company to put Nelson Peltz on its board, days after Peltz and his firm, Trian Fund Management, launched a proxy fight with Disney.
“In an effort to avert an election contest following a year of distractions and disappointing performance, we hope you join us in encouraging the Board to pursue a viable compromise with Trian Fund Management, L.P. and Nelson Peltz,” Ancora wrote in an open letter to fellow shareholders. “Mr. Peltz (or a qualified designee) would make a fantastic addition to Disney’s Board.”
The media giant’s board would benefit from the addition of Peltz, Ancora contends, after an “extended period of absentminded governance, ineffective succession planning, polarizing actions and sustained value destruction.”
Disney was not immediately available for comment on the letter.
Ancora pinned much of Disney’s difficulties in recent years, which include hefty streaming losses and box-office flops, on the company board.
“While it has been argued that challenges largely stem from the tenure of [former chief executive] Bob Chapek, the Board was in the driver’s seat before, during and after that time,” Ancora wrote.
The letter comes days after Disney appointed Morgan Stanley
CEO James Gorman and former Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch as new directors as it confronts shareholder challenges from Trian and ValueAct.
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