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Disney’s Embattled CEO Gets a Little Boost From “The Force”

bob iger star wars lucasfilm
Credit: Flickr/Nagi Usano/Disney/Canva

Despite the fact that some Disney fans aren’t as happy with him as they once were, The Force is clearly with Disney’s embattled CEO Bob Iger.

Related: Disney CEO Bob Iger Just Made a Whole Lot of People Really Angry

disney ceo bob iger mickey and minnie mouse and nelson peltz activist investor

Credit: Disney/ITM/YouTube: Bloomberg Wealth/Canva

Disney vs. Peltz

If you thought that Star Wars was the ultimate never-ending saga, you might want to think again. In what has been a battle of the wills–and looks to be a bitter fight to the finish–The Walt Disney Company and its CEO Bob Iger, who was reinstated to his post in November 2022 following the board’s decision to remove then-CEO Bob Chapek, have waged an ugly proxy war against Trian Partners owner and activist investor Nelson Peltz, who simply cannot take no for an answer.

Despite $500 Million Value, Disney Shareholder Nelson Peltz Wants More, Maybe Even Bob Iger’s Job

Credit: Disney/ Flickr @FII Institute

Peltz has been on a mission to gain a seat on Disney’s board for himself and his partners for years. Peltz is certain that The Walt Disney Company could be more successful and more profitable if it were run more efficiently (i.e., with him and his colleagues at–or closer to–the helm).

His investment firm, Trian Group, has claimed that Disney is suffering from its own mistakes and undoings, including issues with management, business strategies, Disney’s stock price, and the accountability of board members, to name a few. Peltz, a seasoned and career activist investor, says things at Disney could be rectified with himself and former Disney executive Jay Rasulo on the board.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company / Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Too bad Disney’s stock has gotten its second wind, rallying in recent months to near its 52-week high.

According to Fortune, Peltz’s most recent attempt to bully his way into a seat on Disney’s board marks his 25th attempt at his goal, but Disney’s veteran CEO isn’t budging–and, so far, neither are most of Disney’s shareholders.

On Tuesday, in an effort to maintain and bolster that pro-Disney and pro-Iger support from the company’s shareholders, one of the most iconic creators and producers in the history of Hollywood has stepped forward in a public show of support for Iger, and he called on other shareholders to do the same.

bob iger and george lucas with darth vader

Credit: Flickr/ITM

The Force is Strong With This Shareholder

On Tuesday morning, George Lucas, veteran filmmaker and the creative genius behind the Star Wars universe, issued a statement in support of Iger, calling on Disney’s shareholders to stand behind the company’s leadership–namely, CEO Bob Iger.

bob iger disney george lucas lucasfilm merger

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Per CNBC, George Lucas is the largest individual investor in the company. His statement read as follows:

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.

Lucas continued, revealing that he had voted all of his shares for The Walt Disney Company’s 12 directors, and he called on other shareholders to follow suit.

The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012 in a cash and stock deal worth $4 billion, thus making George Lucas, the company’s founder, a major Disney stockholder. The extremely lucrative deal was made, overseen, and executed by Bob Iger and was one of three major acquisitions, along with Disney’s acquisition of Pixar and Marvel, that have come to solidify Iger’s reputation as a leader in business around the world.

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge/Credit: Disney Parks

It remains to be seen what effect Lucas’s call to action will have on Disney’s shareholders.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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