Activist Disney Investor Declares End to Battle for Board Seat

The activist investor Nelson Peltz on Thursday declared a swift end to his battle to instill himself or his son on the board of Disney, a day after the company’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, announced a restructuring plan that will cut billions in costs and layoff thousands of employees.

Mr. Peltz, who leads the investment firm Trian Partners, had begun a proxy fight in January in an attempt to get himself or his son on Disney’s board. He called on the company to cull costs, revamp its streaming business, refocus on profit growth, reinstate its dividend and clean up the company’s messy succession planning. That Mr. Peltz’s Trian had amassed roughly $1 billion in Disney stock became known late last year, just as Disney fired Bob Chapek as chief executive after a troubled run of roughly two and a half years and reinstalled Mr. Iger, who held the position from late 2005 to early 2020.

On Wednesday afternoon, Disney delivered earnings that broadly pleased investors, with Mr. Iger detailing a restructuring that will cut costs by $5.5 billion and eliminate roughly 7,000 jobs, or about 4 percent of the company’s global work force. Disney shares rose 5 percent in after-hours trading following the results.

“The proxy fight is over,” a representative for Trian said in a statement. “This is a win for all shareholders.”

Shares of Disney were up another 4 percent in Thursday morning trading.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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