Tarleton State University – Central Texas
October 17, 2005
A Research Report
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the
Responsibilities and Ethics of Leadership Executive Summary
Analysis of the Walt Disney Company – Case Outline
Introduction: The Walt Disney Company is on the threshold of a new era. Michael Eisner has stepped down from his position as CEO and turned over the reigns to Robert Iger. A lot of turmoil has been brewing through the company over the last four years; many people are hoping that this change in leadership will put Disney back on the road to success. Issues began around mid-2002; when declining earnings, fleeing shareholders, and falling network ratings were met with a financial lawsuit against copyrights regarding Winnie-the-Pooh. Then in 2003, Roy Disney (nephew of the creator) resigned from the Walt Disney board. His cited concern was over Eisner’s management style, timidity in investing, unclear succession plan, and a “creative brain drain” of the company. Soon after, Stanley Gold, a longtime financial adviser to the board, followed Roy Disney out the door. Both shareholders were determined to show their muscle to get Eisner out of the CEO chair. While in the other corner were the strategic business partners, Pixar and Miramax, which were frustrated with the unfair treatment and dealings of Eisner. Eisner’s excessive filtering and approval process has affected the employees ability to shine in the realm of creativity. After several years of fighting, Michael Eisner agreed to step down in January of 2005. Eisner left in his wake business partners who were fed up with trying to deal with Eisner’s demands; board members and employees who lost their faith in the ability to have a vision of the future; and customers who were lacking in their support of the Disney brand. Vision / Mission / Purpose: The Walt Disney Company has maintained a vision of being the preeminent leader in the field of family entertainment. The organization’s purpose in reaching this vision is to show a commitment to producing unparalleled entertainment experiences based on its rich legacy of quality, creative content, and exceptional storytelling. Their mission is to be the world’s leading producer and provider of family entertainment and information, while excelling at being a diversified, international, family entertainment and media company. Values: Disney values a strong tradition of innovation, creating the recent additions of the sitcoms Desperate Housewives and Lost, along with other family based entertainment. Since its founding in 1923, The Walt Disney Company remains faithful in its commitment to providing unparalleled quality entertainment. The creation of Mickey Mouse and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs quickly became synonymous with quality entertainment for the whole family. Walt Disney is recognized around the world as a provider of high quality entertainment, including films, television shows, attractions, consumer products, stories, and resorts. Walt Disney stands today steadfast and loyal in its commitment to providing quality family entertainment. Walt Disney has maintained good relationships with the communities, and is dedicated to delivering quality products and services. The company encourages all cast members and employees to participate in local activities that address the needs of the communities in which they reside and work. The storytelling is a powerful way to connect with others on an emotional level, helping transmit important cultural values. A Walt Disney product tells a story that is delightful and inspiring. The optimism of the company’s entertainment is about hope, aspiration, and positive resolution. The decency the customers and people place on Walt Disney is to provide quality service and the best family entertainment.
Goals: The goals of the company are to continue to attract and...