December 12, 2003 3:18 PM PST

Disney heir launches anti-Eisner site

Roy Disney, former board member of Walt Disney Co., has taken his beef with Michael Eisner, CEO of the company, to the Internet.

The nephew of Walt Disney and son of co-founder Roy O. Disney earlier this week launched a Web site, called SaveDisney.com, to drum up support in his campaign to oust Eisner.

In a note posted on the Web site, Roy Disney says that the site is "devoted to those concerned about the welfare of The Walt Disney Company and its future direction." He asks readers for their support and includes e-mail links for himself and Stanley Gold, another former board member who resigned a day after Roy Disney stepped down.

The site is nothing fancy, consisting mostly of text and head shots of Roy Disney and Gold. In addition to the note, it has several links to other Disney-related Web sites as well as copies of the resignation letters from Roy Disney and Gold to Eisner.

Roy Disney, 74, resigned from the company Nov. 30 after learning that it would be enforcing a new rule mandating the retirement of directors over the age of 72. In his letter to Eisner, Gold said the company's board was using the new rule selectively to target Roy Disney after he became increasingly critical of Eisner's leadership.

"This is yet another attempt by this board to squelch dissent by hiding behind the veil of 'good governance.' What a curious result," he wrote in the letter.

In his own resignation letter, Roy Disney criticized Eisner of micromanaging and driving out talent.

"The company has lost its focus, its creative energy and its heritage," he wrote.

Investors don't seem concerned about the criticism. While the company's stock price fell slightly the week after Roy Disney's resignation, it has continued to climb throughout this week, ending Friday at $22.82, an increase of 17 cents per share, or 0.75 percent.

Walt Disney Co. did not return phone calls seeking comment.

 

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