The dispute within the Disney corporation which resulted in the resignation of Roy Disney, the surviving brother of “Uncle Walt,” has been all over the business and entertainment news. In the old days, an ousted corporate leader might grumble to his friends at the local country club. Now, he can go on the internet and share his perspective with shareholders and the general public alike.
At SaveDisney, Roy Disney describes what he sees as the fatal flaws in Michael Eisner’s leadership of the company, speaks of the glory that was once Disney, and pushes for a grassroots coup which might bring about a regime change within the Disney empire. As Roy explains, “Our shareholders, large and small, deserve a lot better deal than they’ve had in the last eight to ten years…While we fully intend to applaud the Company when it enhances shareholder value, we also mean to function as a government-in-exile, and reserve the right to comment on the means by which these improvements are made, and what we see the future holding.”
More and more, we are seeing what used to be behind-closed-doors disputes within companies – labor dispute, contract struggles, battles for control over the board of directors – being made public via the web. Some of this reflects the ability of digital media to route around traditional gatekeepers. Some of it reflects the degree to which more and more average Americans are buying stock and tending to their investments. But, what does it mean for the future of business practices?