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Disney's Eisner Expects to Leave Board

Mon Sep 20, 2004

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner said he expects to leave the board when he steps down as CEO in 2006, ending speculation that he would switch roles and become chairman of the company.

"I have not asked the board to stay on the board or be chairman after the end of my contract. My assumption is that I would not continue on the board or as chairman," Eisner said in an interview with Fortune magazine released on Monday.

The prospect of Eisner becoming chairman recently spurred a new backlash by critics. Eisner on Sept. 10 said he would step down as CEO when his contract expires in September 2006, but he did not comment on his board role at the time.

Dissidents Stanley Gold and Roy Disney have threatened to run their own slate of directors at the spring 2005 annual meeting if Eisner does not step down as CEO next year.

Eisner was stripped of his job as chairman in March after a shareholder protest vote.

"I have a full business life ahead of me. Clearly I'm not the type to retire, particularly after all these lectures from medical experts about how an active mind is good for the body," the magazine, in a statement, quoted Eisner as saying.

A Disney spokesman confirmed the quotations.




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