Nelson Peltz challenges Bob Iger in Disney boardroom battle

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Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz has laid down a challenge to Bob Iger’s leadership of Disney after nominating himself to the board of the company, which he said has failed at succession planning.

Notorious activist investor Mr Peltz, whose daughter Nicola married Brooklyn Beckham last year, has built up a $900m stake in Disney through his Trian Partners.

Trian issued a blistering statement against the entertainment giant’s management, noting that its share price is near an eight-year low, a reflection of what it said was failed succession planning, “over-the-top” compensation practices and a lack of cost discipline. 

Disney said it rejected a proposal to name Mr Peltz to the board, but “remains open to constructive engagement and ideas that help drive shareholder value”. 

Mr Peltz is known for working himself onto the board of companies such as Mondelez International and Procter & Gamble with plans to make them more efficient.

The battle is an unusual rebuke of Disney chief executive Mr Iger, who became one of the most popular bosses in media when he first ran Disney between 2005 and 2020. 

He sensationally returned to the top job in November the board fired his successor Bob Chapek after the company’s poor performance and a number of high-profile missteps, including a public spat with the Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

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