Institutional Investors Call for Meeting with Disney Board of Directors
Public pension funds ask for a meeting to discuss company’s performance
SACRAMENTO, CA – Six of the nation’s largest institutional investors today publicly called for a meeting with The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors to discuss the performance and future of the company.
The group of investors – with combined assets of more than $500 billion, include fiduciaries and managers of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), North Carolina Retirement Systems, and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
In a letter to George Mitchell, Chairman of Disney’s Board of Directors, the funds made it clear they want an immediate meeting with all members of the Disney Board.
Following are comments outlining the need for Disney’s board to meet with the representatives from the six funds.
Denise L. Nappier — “The shareholder vote may have been the first act, but it is absolutely not the end of the story. As long-term investors, we remain concerned about Disney’s future, and we need to see, up close and personal, how the Board plans to address the serious and substantial issues at their doorstep,” said Connecticut Treasurer Denise L. Nappier.
Alan G. Hevesi — “Disney’s decision to split the chairman and CEO role was a good first step. But it is only the first step. Now is the time for Disney to be proactive, by detailing for shareholders the Board’s plan to improve performance and restore shareholder value,” said New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi.
Richard Moore — “A substantial number of Disney shareholders demonstrated their lack of confidence in the Board with the vote last month and now Disney has the opportunity to begin to earn back their trust. I feel confident they will embrace the opportunity to open discussions with institutional investors as a first step in that long road.” Richard Moore, North Carolina State Treasurer.
Jack Ehnes — “We applaud the Disney board for its responsiveness to shareholders in separating the roles of CEO and board chair,” said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of CalSTRS. “It’s obvious the board got the message sent by the shareholders. Let this be the start of an important, ongoing dialogue with shareholders as we work together to improve Disney’s business strategies and performance.”
Sean Harrigan — “We remain extremely concerned about the high negative vote that most of the Disney board members received from shareholders, and it is time that every board member hear directly from large shareholders why we are so concerned and what our expectations are as owners on behalf of the public servants who depend on investments for their retirement,” said Sean Harrigan, President of CalPERS Board.
Click here for a copy of the letter sent to Disney Chairman George Mitchell.