Disney Adds Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and Former Sky Chief Jeremy Darroch to Board

Chairman of the board Mark G. Parker applauds both appointees as “widely respected leaders in their industries”

James Gorman and Jeremy Darroch (Courtesy of Disney)
James Gorman and Jeremy Darroch (Courtesy of Disney)

Disney’s Board of Directors has appointed James P. Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, and Sir Jeremy Darroch, a veteran media executive and former group chief executive of Sky, as new members.

Darroch’s appointment is effective Jan. 9, and Gorman’s is effective Feb. 5. According to the official release, the addition of Gorman and Darroch will “temporarily increase Disney’s board to 13 members.”

The appointment of Gorman (described as “a deeply respected leader at one of the world’s preeminent global financial institutions”) and Darroch (“an accomplished chief executive and financial leader with significant experience in the international media and consumer products sectors”) was the result of an exhaustive search that began back in April of this year. Their appointments to the board “reflect Disney’s commitment to a strong board focused on the long-term performance of the company, strategic growth initiatives, the succession planning process, and increasing shareholder value,” the company said in its announcement.

“James and Jeremy are both widely respected leaders in their industries, and their expertise will complement the talents and experience of the Disney board as we continue to focus on delivering for consumers and shareholders alike,” said Mark G. Parker, chairman of the board, said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.

“In the 14 years that James has been CEO of Morgan Stanley, he has overseen a strategic transformation of the institution and delivered significant shareholder value, and was integral to Morgan Stanley’s well-managed succession process over the past year,” Parker continued. “Jeremy brings extensive leadership in the international media business, and during his tenure at Sky, he led Sky’s successful transition from a linear satellite broadcaster to one of Europe’s largest multi-platform TV providers.”

Disney board member Francis A. deSouza has decided not to stand for reelection. Disney’s announcement explained his exit, saying that deSouza will pursue “new opportunities in the technology sector that will require his full attention.”

“I’m immensely proud to have had the opportunity to serve such an important and cherished institution alongside this group of esteemed board members,” deSouza said. “I have enormous admiration and affection for the company and its leaders and cast members, and I look forward to cheering on every future success as a lifelong Disney fan as I step down to pursue my next career endeavors.”

The board shake-up is occurring at a particularly tenuous time for the company, as its latest would-be animated blockbuster “Wish” has failed to impress at the box office following harsh reviews, just weeks after the costly Marvel Studios flop “The Marvels” landed with a thud.

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