Michael Eisner will end his 20 year reign as Walt Disney's chief executive on his own terms, by stepping down in two years time (06).

Eisner's decision, made public in a letter to shareholders on Friday (10SEP04), comes just months after a shareholder revolt in March (04) nearly forced him to leave earlier.

Eisner, 62, was a young and relatively unknown executive when he took over the faded Hollywood icon and theme park company, revitalising it and vastly expanding its depth and scope of activity.

But he has also been the target of intense criticism in recent months, as Disney stores are making losses and the company has had to ward off takeover bids from cable operator COMCAST CORP.

Eisner did not comment on whether he would keep his board seat or attempt to take the chairman job when he retired as chief executive. However, he has revealed that he wants Disney president and CEO BOB IGER to succeed him.

15/09/2004 17:14