Obituary: Roy E Disney (1930-2009)

Disney director emeritus passes away.

RoyEDisney07Roy E Disney, the nephew of entertainment magnate Walt Disney, has died at the age of 79 following a bout of stomach cancer.

Born on 10 January 1930, in Los Angeles, California, Disney graduated from Pomona College before joining The Walt Disney Company, which his uncle had co-founded with his father, in 1951 as an assistant director.

Disney was eventually elected to the board of the company in 1967, and ten years later he would begin the boardroom wars that would become a defining characteristic of his business life, and eventually, the events that he would be best known for.

Chief among these was the ousting of Michael Eisner as the CEO on Disney. Roy Disney had previously ousted Ronald William Miller and replaced him with Eisner and Frank Wells, having resigned from the company as an executive in protest. With Eisner, Disney reportedly felt that the company was losing its creative direction, and so engineered a sophisticated campaign that resulted in an overwhelming shareholder vote of n0-confidence in him. The CEO then stepped down once his term was finished.

After this event, Disney was given the honorary posts of consultant to the company, and Director Emeritus. He controlled around 1% of shares in Disney at the time of his death.

Picture credit: Romina Espinosa.