Former Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter has handed voting power for his Disney shares over to Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management as Peltz pushes for a seat on the Disney board again, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Peltz, founder and CEO of Trian Fund Management, is one of Disney’s largest shareholders, with stakes valued at over $2.5 billion. As we reported a few weeks ago, Trian is expected to request multiple board seats, including one for Peltz.
Peltz and Trian previously pushed for him to have a seat on the board after Disney privately turned down his request to join. He launched a public run for the seat in January 2023 but ended the “proxy war” with Disney the next month.
At that time, Trian had 9.4 million Disney shares. With Perlmutter entrusting his stake to Trian, they now control 33 million.
Perlmutter was fired from Marvel Entertainment during waves of layoffs earlier this year. He had supported Peltz’s initial run for the board and also infamously almost fired Kevin Feige, but was stopped by Bob Iger.
Perlmutter was on the board of Marvel Comics beginning in 1993. He went on to be vice chairman and then CEO, a position he retained when Disney purchased Marvel. He was later shifted to chairman of Marvel Entertainment, running comic book publishing and merchandise licensing, while Kevin Feige was in charge of Marvel Studios.
“I have no doubt that my termination was based on fundamental differences in business between my thinking and Disney leadership,” Perlmutter told WSJ at the time, “because I care about return on investment.”
Trian is not looking for a board seat for Perlmutter, but he told the Journal that he plans to urge Disney’s board to “immediately welcome one or more Trian board candidates.”
“While I was a Disney employee, I was not comfortable publicly stating my views on the company and its performance,” Perlmutter said. “As someone with a large economic interest in Disney’s success, I can no longer watch the business underachieve its great potential.”
The window for shareholder nominations is from December 5 through January 4. These nominations would then be voted on at Disney’s annual meeting in the spring.
Disney declined WSJ’s request for comment.