Financial analysts and shareholders-rights activists alike have generally welcomed the decision to name former Procter & Gamble exec John Pepper Jr. chairman of the Walt Disney Co., to succeed George Mitchell. The decision was viewed as a final rebuke to Michael Eisner, who had long been accused of packing the Disney board with cronies. "Eisner's era was over anyway, but this puts an exclamation point on it," Patrick McGurn, executive vice president of proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., told today's (Thursday) Los Angeles Times. But some Wall Street analysts called attention to Pepper's lack of media experience. "I don't see what he brings to the party," Michael Nathanson of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. told the New York Times. In a statement, Disney CEO Robert Iger said that Pepper had "quickly immersed himself in our business" since he joined the board in January. He will take over the chairmanship of the company on Jan. 1. The decision to name Pepper to the top post ended widespread speculation that it would go to Apple Computer Chairman Steve Jobs, who, after selling Pixar Animation to Disney, became the company's largest shareholder.




29/06/2006