Entertainment

Steve Jobs Widow Laurene Powell Jobs Backs Disney CEO Bob Iger

As the board proxy fight between The Walt Disney Company and Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners comes down to the wire, Disney and CEO Bob Iger have locked up the support of another high-profile Disney shareholder.

Laurene Powell Jobs said in a statement Thursday that she is urging shareholders to vote in support of Disney’s board nominees.

“My family and I have been significant investors in The Walt Disney Company for nearly two decades, and in that time, we have seen the company transformed thanks to the steady and visionary leadership of Bob Iger and Disney’s expert Board of Directors,” Powell Jobs wrote. “What has always set Disney apart is the way it combines unbridled creativity with technological innovation to tell timeless stories—stories that inspire and enrich the world around us.

“There is no one who understands Disney’s important legacy or the responsibility to protect it more than Bob Iger,” she added. “He is a once-in-a-generation leader with an ambitious vision for the future, and we as shareholders are fortunate to have him guiding this cherished company at such a crucial moment in its history. I urge my fellow shareholders to support Bob and the company’s slate of highly qualified Director nominees.”

Powell Jobs, of course, is the founder of Emerson Collective, widow of the late Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who was close friends with Iger.

Jobs at one point was the largest shareholder in Disney, following the company’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar (which Jobs founded) in 2006, and the statement suggests that the family still holds a significant number of shares, though exactly how many is unclear.

Jobs also joined Disney’s board, with Iger later joining Apple’s board of directors.

Powell Jobs is one of a number of high-profile Disney shareholders to speak out in favor of Iger and the Disney board. Earlier this week Star Wars creator George Lucas voiced his support for the board, and last month the Disney family, including descendants of both Walt and Roy Disney, also threw their support behind Iger and the board.

But the note from Powell Jobs also comes the same day that Institutional Shareholder Services, the influential proxy advisory firm, recommended that shareholders vote to add Nelson Peltz to the Disney board, in a blow to the company’s efforts.


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