Walt Disney Co. reconciles with Disney heir

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Today The Walt Disney Company issued a joint statement with business partners Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold to the media, as a show of reunion between the two camps after nearly three years of hostility.

Roy E. Disney, son of company co-founder Roy O. Disney and nephew of the company namesake Walt Disney, had resigned from his job as chairman of Feature Animation at the company after experiencing difficulty with the company's board of directors, many of whom were biased towards company CEO Michael Eisner's view of what direction the company should take.

Eisner is due to retire from the company this September, and the talks with Disney and Gold are believed to have been led by Eisner's successor, Bob Iger, who is currently President and COO of the company. Iger has shown great interest in building relationships back up with many companies who have refused to work with Disney until Eisner leaves, such as Pixar Animation and George Lucas.

Large scores of Disney fans had hoped Roy would read the Disneyland Dedication Speech on the theme park's fiftieth birthday next week, which was originally read by Walt on the park's opening day, but Roy had already entered an annual sailing race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.