Disney - Succession Problems in the Magic Kingdom?

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB079
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1984-2005
Pub. Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Walt Disney Company
Industry : Media and Entertainment
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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WDC After the Disney Brothers

Walker took over as Chairman and CEO in 1980 when Tatum retired. During Walker's tenure, the company did not do well. The audience's preference for family films was slowing down and WDP's films were not attractive enough for the adult and teen market.

There were no major additions to the theme parks. Further, the EPCOT project, which opened to the general public on October 1, 1982, had over US$1billion invested in it. A number of animation employees also left the company. In 1984, Walker resigned on account of the poor earnings performance of WDP and Miller took his place.

When Miller took over as Chairman and CEO, Roy resigned from the board of directors on account of his differences with him. Roy then began a campaign for a change in WDP's top executives. The 1980s witnessed a takeover frenzy and aggressive takeovers by corporate raiders became the order of the day...

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Eisner's Reign at Disney

Eisner brought with him two executives he had closely worked with at Paramount -- Jeffrey Katzenberg (Katzenberg) and Richard Frank (Frank). Katzenberg was given charge of Disney's motion picture division, including the feature animation unit which was not doing well. Frank took over the television business operations of the company.

By 1985, around 30 people had left Paramount to join this team. In 1986, WDP became Walt Disney Company (WDC). Eisner, Wells, and the new team turned around the performance of the company in what came to be known as the 'golden decade' for WDC.

In addition to improvement in earnings, the creative spark that had been the hallmark of Disney came back to life with many critically acclaimed live-action/animation hits like 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988), 'The Little Mermaid'(1989), 'Beauty and the Beast'(1991), 'Aladdin'(1992), and 'The Lion King' (1994). The Disney channel was revamped and slowly gained in popularity...

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