Nelson Peltz refrains from casting votes for Disney CEO Bob Iger in proxy fight.


Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management opted not to cast votes in favor of Walt Disney’s CEO Bob Iger during the ongoing proxy battle between the asset management firm and the entertainment giant, as per sources familiar with the matter.

The decision, although not entirely unexpected given the contentious nature of the dispute, contradicts Trian’s proxy recommendations and appears inconsistent with Peltz’s public statements about collaborating with management if elected to Disney’s board.

Disney has escalated its criticism of Trian and Peltz in recent weeks, evident in the headline of a recent investor presentation: “Correcting Trian’s Fact With Fiction,” featuring an image of Pinocchio with an elongated nose.

Peltz clarified his stance, stating, “Disney is mistaken because my aim isn’t to oust Bob Iger; I aim to assist him. We’re not in the business of CEO terminations.”

When approached for comment, a Trian spokesperson referred CNBC to a press release reiterating its proxy recommendations and affirming support for Iger’s candidacy for the board and his role as CEO.

Nevertheless, withholding votes from Iger doesn’t align with a vote of confidence in his leadership, sparking concerns about the potential discord in the boardroom if Peltz secures a seat on Disney’s board next month.

Disney has put forth a slate of 12 directors, including Iger. Trian recommends shareholders vote for Peltz and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, while withholding votes for Disney nominees Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman, both current board members.

Although Trian holds a relatively modest stake in Disney, approximately 1.5% of outstanding shares when combined with former Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter’s ownership, who supports Peltz in the proxy battle, their influence remains noteworthy.

The Disney board meeting is scheduled for April 3, leaving room for Trian to reconsider its vote in the interim.


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