Dividends and Disney’s fired CEO was an abosolute disaster – good riddance

When you own shares in a company, at every annual meeting you vote on executive compensation, the auditors and approving the financial statements. When you vote for executive compensation, who they are and what you pay them are public knowledge and worthy of discussion on how they are doing.

In large corporations with many shareholders, the Board chooses the new President and if the leaving President is leaving on a good note, they often have a say in their replacement. In the case of Disney, Bob Iger was the President and by all accounts he did a good job which meant he moved to the Chairman of the Board and had a say in his replacement.

Recently the replacement Bob Chapek was let go, although he was likely handsomely compensated. Then the columnists offered their views. One opinion is from Gus Carlson and he offers the comment:

There is a basic guiding principle that every company leader must understand. Know your core business.

Mr. Carlson believes Mr. Capek did not get it and moved Disney away from its core business of creative storytelling. Mr. Capek took budget and power out of creatives’ hands, treated talent poorly, insulted loyal customers, embroiled in fights that he did not need to and promoted people who were loyal to him but not on creative storytelling business.

After Mr. Iger resumed the role of being President, he sent a memo to all employees, saying I fundamentally believe storytelling is what fuels this company and it belongs at the center of how we organize our businesses. In the meantime, Mr/ Iger is looking for a new President in 2023.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, when you own the company, you follow the company, but you are not a manager. In order to keep your shares, you need to see the company is fulfilling its business strategies around its core business. As a shareholder when the company does something and you see the announcement, you can ask yourself how does it fit their core business? perfectly aligned? somewhat or padding someone’s pockets? How you answer the question means you do something or look for alternatives.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.


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