Nelson Peltz’s Trian Slams Disney After Earnings Report: ‘We Saw This Movie Last Year and We Didn’t Like the Ending’

The activist investor seeks to join the media conglomerate’s board at its next investor meeting

Activist Investor Nelson Peltz stands at a lectern.
Activist Investor Nelson Peltz (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Nelson Peltz‘s Trian Fund Management channeled Taylor Swift in response to Disney’s earnings report Wednesday, as the activist investor aims to be voted into the board during its upcoming annual meeting on April 3.

“It’s déjà vu all over again. We saw this movie last year and we didn’t like the ending,” a spokesperson for Trian said in a statement shared with TheWrap, in response to the media conglomerate reporting a cut in streaming losses during the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year.

The statement also came after Disney CEO Bob Iger swiped at Peltz in a CNBC interview Wednesday, saying that the “last thing” the company needs is activist investors interfering in plans for Disney’s future.

“I think if you look at the results that we just announced… that is the result of a team that is motivated, that is focused, and now all of us are very optimistic,” Iger said. “The last thing that we need right now is to be distracted in terms of our energy, by an activist or activists that, frankly, have a completely different agenda and don’t understand our company, its assets, even the essence of the Disney brand.”

Peltz, who controls approximately $3 billion of Disney stock, has said that the entertainment giant has “woefully underperformed its peers and its potential” and previously set several goals for the company, including:

  • Adopting best-in-class governance; finally complete a successful CEO succession; and align management pay with performance
  • Targeting and achieving Netflix-like profit margins of 15-20% by fiscal year 2027
  • Commiting to a reasonable, defined payback period and return profile on ESPN Flagship DTC and communicate it in detail prior to launch
  • A board-led review of creative processes and structure to restore leadership accountability and reclaim #1 box office position with leading economics
  • Executing on a clear vision for parks targeting at least high-single digit operating income growth to ensure adequate returns on about $60 billion of capital expenditure

Trian is seeking to oust Froman and Lagomasino from their board seats and recommending Peltz and former Disney executive Jay Rasulo to take their place.

Trian’s comment also referenced Iger’s announcement that Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” film will stream exclusively on Disney+ starting March 15.


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