Michael Eisner's Leadership

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Michael Eisner is a transformational leader in the history of Walt Disney Company. As the text book motions, those transformational leaders are highly self-confident and charismatic, supposed to influence followers to adopt new values and visions, and transcend personal goals and interests for achievement of collective goals. 1-3 And that was exactly what Michael Eisner act when he became the chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Productions in 1984.

At that time, the company was faced with serious crisis coming from both outside and inside the company. The former CEO, Ron W. Miller decided to remove the business focus onto the investment in the real estate, and thus cut down the creativity department, which angered Walter's nephew Roy E. Disney, who felt that if he continued to do so, the company would finally turned into Walt Disney’s "Memorial Hall". At last, the internal factional struggle and M&A boom lifted in the American entertainment in the mid 1980s resulted in Ron Miller’s resignation. In order to restore the tide and solve the long-standing family-based management crisis, Roy E. Disney then invited Michael Eisner to take over the company.

After Michael Eisner was in charge of the company, he changed its name from Walt Disney Productions into Walt Disney Company and thrived in multiple areas such as studio entertainment, media networks, parks & resorts, and consumer products.

During the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s, Disney revitalized. Beginning with The Little Mermaid (1989), its flagship animation studio enjoyed a series of commercial and critical successes. Disney also broadened its adult offerings in film when then Disney Studio Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg acquired Miramax Films in 1993. Disney acquired many other media sources, including ABC and ESPN. During the early years of the 1990s, Eisner and his partners set out to plan "The Disney Decade" which was to feature new parks around the world, existing park expansions, new...
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