Disney revolt gathers momentum

The leaders of the Disney rebellion, Stanley Gold and Roy Disney, said yesterday that they would be content if at least 20 per cent of the company's shareholders withhold their votes for the company's chairman and chief executive, Michael Eisner, at a critical annual meeting in Philadelphia today.

"Anything in the 20 per cent range would send a message that Mr Eisner has to go," Mr Gold, who, along with Mr Disney, resigned from the entertainment giant's board last November, declared in Philadelphia last night. Both men have indicated that they would like to return to the Disney board if they win their cause. Some analysts expect that the no-vote could be as high as 30 per cent.

While Mr Eisner, who has headed the company for 20 years, is running unopposed, such a strong show of dissatisfaction could seriously damage his standing. The board, which will convene immediately after the meeting, would then have to consider possible options that could include firing him.

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