Founded in 1923, the Walt Disney Company is a hugely successful entertainment and media company with global operations. The parent company and its subsidiaries operate through five major divisions: Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Media Networks, Consumer Products, and Interactive. The company operates several major cable television networks, including the Disney Channel, ABC Family, and ESPN. The Parks and Resort division manages the major Disney theme parks, Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, as well as Disney theme parks internationally. The Studio Entertainment division produces Disney motion pictures, both live action and animated. The company has a market capitalization value of over $174 billion as of August 7, 2018. These are the top individual shareholders of Walt Disney Company.
Robert A. Iger
Chairman and CEO Robert “Bob” Iger took the reins at Disney in 2006. He directed several key acquisitions for Disney, including that of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, Lucasfilm in 2012, and 21st Century Fox in 2017. Prior to his ascension to the position of CEO, Iger worked at Disney in the capacity of COO from 2000 to 2005. He was appointed president and CEO in 2005 and assumed the title of chairman in 2006. While Iger was originally planning on stepping down in 2019, he will be staying on until 2021 to help integrate the new Fox assets.
Iger originally joined Disney’s executive team in 1996 as head of its subsidiary ABC Group. He was named one of the “25 Most Powerful People in Business” by Fortune magazine. Disney has fared well under Iger’s direction. As of 2016, the company had produced record levels of net income and earnings per share (EPS) six years in a row.
Iger was rumored to be considering a Presidential bid for 2020, but with his Disney contract extended to 2021, Iger’s potential political future may be put off for a few years.
In March of 2018, Disney shareholders voted down an endorsement of Iger’s compensation plans. While this won’t have an immediate effect, it signals to the directors that shareholders aren’t happy with reports that Iger’s total compensation could balloon to over $100 million if the Fox acquisition closes.
Robert Iger is the single largest individual Disney shareholder, holding close to 1.2 million shares as of January 8, 2018.
Christine McCarthy obtained the position of senior executive vice president and CFO at the Walt Disney Company in 2015. She is in charge of Disney’s finances worldwide and oversees company financial planning, investor relations, tax planning, supply chain management and corporate real estate. McCarthy also directs Disney’s efforts in the area of corporate citizenship.
Before taking her current position, McCarthy served as executive vice president in charge of corporate real estate and treasurer of the company. Prior to joining Disney in 2000, McCarthy worked at Imperial Bancorp and First Interstate Bancorp. McCarthy has 131,252 shares of Disney stock as of January 2018, making her the second-largest individual shareholder.
Senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Walt Disney Company Alan Braverman holds the third-highest number of Disney stock shares. His directly holds 107,213 shares and indirectly holds 11,753 shares through his 401(k) as per a July 2018 SEC filing. Braverman assumed his current position at Disney in 2003. He acts as general counsel and directs the company’s entire staff of attorneys worldwide. Before coming on board at Disney, Braverman acted as chief counsel for ABC, Inc. prior to Disney’s acquisition of the company. Before that, he was a partner at the prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.
Alwyn B Lewis
The former CEO and President of Potbelly Sandwich Works, Alwyn B Lewis has been a director of Disney since 2004. Lewis started his career as a manager for a Jack in The Box right out of college. He graduated to be a regional general manager of KFC. From there, Lewis has bounced around multiple industries in various executive roles, rising to high ranks at YUM Brands between 2000 and 2004, at which point he was named CEO of Kmart, which was then bought buy Sears. Following this acquisition, Lewis was named President of Sears.
Lewis serves as a director at Marriott International, World Business Chicago, and many more small companies. In May of 2017, Lewis announced he would be stepping down at Potbelly by the end of August 2017. As of a July 2018 SEC filing, Lewis owns 84,932 shares of Disney, making him the fourth-largest individual shareholder.
Robert W Matschullat
The longest serving member on Disney’s board of directors (since 2002), Robert W. Matschullat is currently retired, and previously was Chairman of the board and CFO of The Seagram Company, which went defunct around the time he retired from the company. Matschullat also serves on the board of directors of Clorox. As of a January 2018 filing, Matschullat was the fifth-largest individual Disney shareholder, with 30,542 shares.
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