Top honchos exit Disney board

14 January, 2018, 14:35 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Image for representational purpose only

On Friday, the entertainment giant announced that chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and chief exec Jack Dorsey will not not be seeking re-election to its board.

Disney said the reasoning behind their departures are due to potential conflicts of interest that may arise as media and technology continue to merge. Twitter and Facebook have also bid on and won the rights to stream live sporting events, a bedrock business for Disney and its ESPN network. "The Board will take up the matter of filling Mr. Smith's role as independent Lead Director when it meets after the annual meeting". Board memebers Robert Matschullat and Orin Smith are also not standing for re-election. Facebook, meanwhile, is investing heavily in programming for Facebook Watch, striking deals including one with ABC's Scandal star, Kerry Washington, who's launching an original series this year on the social media platform, and a live weekly show from WWE called the Mixed Match Challenge, a 12-episode series is pitting male and female stars from its Raw and SmackDown Live.

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Sandberg and Dorsey's exit won't be the only change to Disney's board. Twitter, too, has made more forays into video.

Dorsey's company announced a year ago video streaming partnerships with 16 media companies, which included some of Disney's competitors. Twitter also has a partnership with Bloomberg LP. Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and Illumina CEO Franis deSouza will join the board next month. General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra became a Disney director in August. The 66-year-old is now scheduled to leave the company in 2021, the fourth time the company postponed his planned retirement date.

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