Media Moves

Coverage: Facebook, Twitter execs to leave Disney board

January 15, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Disney-logoFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will not be renominated to their positions on Walt Disney Co.’s board due to potential conflicts of interest.

Ben Geier of had the story:

“Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly difficult for them to avoid conflicts relating to board matters and they are not standing for re-election” a Disney spokesman said in a statement.

Dorsey had been on the board since 2013 and Sandberg has served since 2010.

Both Facebook and Twitter have increasingly moved into the entertainment business in recent years.

Twitter in particular has entered the sports broadcasting business, which could potentially cause conflict with ESPN, a Disney company. In addition to a partnership with the NFL, the company announced it was livestreaming WNBA games last year. Twitter also announced a plan earlier this year to launch a 24/7 news network in partnership with Bloomberg.

Facebook launched its “Watch” tab earlier this year to show live and recorded video, including a weekly Major League Baseball game.

Dawn C. Chmielewski of Deadline reported that two other board members were also leaving:

Board members Robert Matschullat, former Seagram Co. executive, also will be departing the board because he has served for 15 years, the maximum tenure, and Orin C. Smith will depart because he has reached the retirement age of 74, Disney said. The board will take up the matter of filling Smith’s role as independent lead director when it meets after the annual meeting.

Disney previously announced that Safra Catz, Oracle Corp.’s co-chief executive, and Illumina Inc. CEO Francis deSouza, would join its board of directors. The elections are effective as of Feb. 1.

Disney also disclosed executive compensation in its proxy filing.

Chairman and CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation fell 17% from the prior year. He received $36.3 million in total compensation for the year ended Sept. 30, 2017, down from $43.9 million a year ago.

Doha Madani of Huffington Post reported that actress Amber Tamblyn called for Disney to add more women and people of color to its board:

The 34-year-old actress took to Twitter on Sunday to publicly push The Walt Disney Company to add women of color to its board of directors. Disney has potential openings on its board, which is predominately whiteaccording to The Wall Street Journal. Four members of the 12-person board are stepping down, and the company has already appointed  two replacements to begin on Feb. 1 this year.

Tamblyn tweeted at Disney and its CEO Bob Iger, urging them to use the two remaining openings to bring more diversity to the board.

“Hi @Disney and @RobertIger,” Tamblyn tweeted. “It looks like you’re about to have two seats open on your board of directors. We call on you to choose women of color for these seats. Be a shining example for your fellow studios. We’re watching. #TIMESUP.”

Tamblyn has used her platform to promote equality and respect for women in the workplace. Her message to Disney included the hashtag #TimesUp, which refers to a legal defense fund for women to fight harassment, abuse or discrimination in the workplace.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.