Disney Cements Chairman/CEO Divide

Following CEO Michael Eisner’s removal from the post of chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Co., the board has voted to officially separate the offices of chairman and CEO, according to The Associated Press. The measure was taken in response to a shareholder proposal demanding the permanent split.

Eisner was replaced as chairman of the board at Disney by Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell following the March 3 shareholder meeting in which resulted in a 45% no-confidence vote for Eisner’s re-election. Eisner kept his CEO job but later announced plans to step down when his contract expires in 2006. A wide search for his successor is being conducted with hopes of announcing a name by June.

Under the new governance guideline, the board chairman is to operate as an independent director. An independent lead director would be brought on should the board decided to re-consolidate the roles later down the road.