Walt Disney activist investor Nelson Peltz geared up for a fight with the entertainment giant as it snubbed his bid for a board seat, months after a top-level shakeup brought old boss Bob Iger back as chief executive.

The company on Wednesday also named independent director and Nike Executive Chairman Mark Parker as its next chairman, replacing Susan Arnold, who will not stand for re-election.

Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP, which owns a less than 5% stake in Disney, believes Iger should not be back in control of the company, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in November.

Disney said Trian had nominated Peltz for a board seat in opposition to the company’s nominees.

“While senior leadership of The Walt Disney Company and its board of directors have engaged with Mr. Peltz numerous times over the last few months, the board does not endorse the Trian Group nominee,” Disney said.

Nelson Peltz
Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP owns a less than 5% stake in Disney.

Trian did not respond to a request for comment.

Disney’s shares rose 1.4% in extended trading.

Meanwhile, Parker, when he was Nike’s CEO, instituted a management reshuffle in 2018 after learning of allegations that Nike executives would get “sloppy drunk” and prey on female subordinates, according to an unsealed gender discrimination lawsuit against the sneaker giant.


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Tyler Cowan