70% of Voting Disney 401k Holders Cast "No Confidence" on
20, 2004 - NEWSdial.com)
Records received yesterday from The Walt Disney Company confirm
Michael Eisner received a No Confidence vote from 72.5% of the
votes cast by the Walt Disney Company 401K trustee at the Company's
2004 annual meeting and that George Mitchell received a No Confidence
Vote from 63.7% of the votes cast by the Walt Disney Company
401K trustee, said Roy E. Disney and Stanley P. Gold. A total
of 28,625,419 votes were cast.
simple fact is that the vast majority of people who participate
in the company's 401K plans and voted their shares at the annual
meeting have No Confidence in either their CEO or their newly-elected
chairman," Messrs. Disney and Gold said. "It is hard
to imagine how Mr. Eisner can do what needs to be done at this
company without the support of the Company's employees."
response to Disney and Gold's assertions, Disney released the
than 9,400 of the about 36,000 participants in the employee savings
plans actually cast a ballot, which is a turnout of just more
than 25 percent. Of the 36,000 only approximately 22,500 (out
of our 112,000-person work force) are active employees. While
we won't know for certain until later this week if the 9,400
ballots were cast proportionately, if so, fewer that 6,000 would
have been cast by active employees and it is completely uncertain
at this point how many of those active employees actually cast
votes to withhold. Per its previously announced procedure, Fidelity
simply voted the entire group of 28.6 million employee plan shares
in the same pro-rata proportion as those ballots actually cast.
The number of shares cast is less than 1.5 percent of total shares
and Gold, however, maintain their criticism of Eisner and the
company's handling of the no confidence vote news from yesterday
and earlier this year when 43% of voting shareholders cast a
no confidence vote against Eisner.
the Disney PR department to 'spin' these facts in any other way
is insulting and demeaning to the many loyal and dedicated employees
who work for Disney; they deserve better -- shareholders expect
better," said R Disney and Gold.
an attempted Disney spin to the contrary, we believe this vote
by the company's 401K participants is a meaningful barometer
of employee dissatisfaction with the way The Walt Disney Company
is being run. The vote was strictly confidential. Plan participants,
which include both current and former employees, were given a
chance to express their views on Mr. Eisner and the Board without
fear of reprisal. As anyone who has done any polling knows, you
only need a small sample to get a statistically valid survey.
We believe it would be hard to argue that these results are not
question remains, how long will this Board ignore the will of
the Company's shareholders and now, its employees? The message
couldn't be clearer: action must be taken to replace Michael
Eisner now," they said.
and Gold said that in light of the 26% No Confidence Vote that
Mr. Mitchell received from the company's shareholders and the
63.7% No Confidence Vote he received from the votes cast by the
Walt Disney Company 401K trustee at the Company's 2004 annual
meeting, the Board really has no choice but to re-examine their
appointment of Mr. Mitchell to the post of Chairman.
Michael Eisner's No Confidence Vote wasn't so staggeringly high,
everyone would be talking about the substantial No Confidence
Vote cast against Mr. Mitchell," they said. "It's important
that this not get lost in the process."
Disney News Articles:
Board Criticized for Lack of Action
to April 2004 News Archives