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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Michael Eisner - Number 3 Pick for a Disney Legend Honor

My next two picks are people who made significant contributions to the Disney Company but were "forced out" and therefore may never see the honor of being made a Disney Legend. If this is the case, that would be unfortunate, because they truly are legends that the company is still benefiting from today.  The first is Michael Eisner. Some people may actually be shocked to know he has not been honored.
Let's look at some of his highlights.

  1. He was the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company from September 22, 1984 to September 30, 2005. Since the death of Walt Disney in 1966, the company had struggled and barely survived corporate takeover attempts. Its shareholders Sid Bass and Roy E. Disney brought in Eisner (as CEO and Chairman of the Board) and former Warner Brothers chief Frank Wells (as President) to replace Ron W. Miller in 1984 and strengthen the company.
  2. He oversaw a Disney Golden Age which included blockbuster hits like the Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Lon King
  3. During his tenure the company acquired Miramax Films, ABC and ESPN. 
  4. He administered a  new division, Walt Disney Theatrical, produced the enormously successful Broadway shows, Beauty and the Beast, Aida and the phenomenally successful stage version of The Lion King. Eisner's reign also saw the development of such theme park-related businesses as the Disney Cruise Line.
  5. Since Eisner joined Disney, the company's annual revenues have grown from $1.7 billion to $25.4 billion, operating income has gone up from $291 million to $4.08 billion, and its stock price has risen some 30 times.
  6. He helped develop a partnership with Pixar and the companies produced such hits as Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters Inc
  7. In 2004 Disney purchased the rights to the Muppets after a lengthy partnership with the company. This all happened while Eisner was CEO. 
  8. During his tenure Walt Disney World added two new parks - Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Disney character such as Mickey mouse began appearing in Epcot directly under the influence of Eisner. Furthermore Disneyland Paris (1992 and a second park in 2002), Disney California Adventure opened in 2001. Tokyo DisneySea (2001) and  Hong Kong Disneyland (2005) were also opened under his leadership of the company. That is seven them parks opened during his time.
  9. The NHL Team the Anaheim Mighty Ducks was founded by Walt Disney during the Eisner era.
  10. Some of the other major films released during his time at Disney - The Great Mouse Detective, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, Flight of the Navigator, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Hocus Pocus, Cool Runnings, The Three Musketeers, Angels in the Outfield, Iron Will, White Fang, Pocahontas, Operation Dumbo Drop, 101 Dalmations (live action),  Air Bud, Tarzan Hercules, Inspector Gadget, The Parent Trap (remake), Mulan, Toy Story 2, Fantasia 2000, Remember the Titans, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis, The Santa Clause, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Princess Diaries and National Treasure - to name a few. 
  11. Yes, in 2005 Eisner was forced into early retirement , lead by the same Roy Disney that spearheaded his hiring. But the fact hat this man was the center of two of the most important Machiavellian moments in Disney history speaks to his importance to this company's history. Intrigue follows him controversy is his middle name, Risk, Reward and Failure are his friends and his mark was permanent. 

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