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Old 12-02-2019, 01:46 PM   #71
chunter
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after watching 4 episodes of the imagineering story, I was wrong about Michael Eisner. He/Frank Wells really turned the company around and were, dare I say, visionaries.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:55 PM   #72
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after watching 4 episodes of the imagineering story, I was wrong about Michael Eisner. He/Frank Wells really turned the company around and were, dare I say, visionaries.
From what I understand, Eisner had a great start but he probably outlasted his ability to continue. Like Walt and Roy were great pair, so were Eisner and Wells. By the time Eisner stepped down, he pretty much had burned every bridge he could with Disney's partners and lost the confidence of the Disney community.

But there is no doubt that Disney would not exist today in any successful way without his leadership in the late '80s through 2000.

I suspect Iger will also get a better hearing from the parks community a few years down the road. In order for the parks to be strong and viable over the long-term, the company has to be strong and Iger has created a very strong Disney. I do wish he'd give a bit more of a creative budget to the parks, but I don't know how to run the most successful media company in existence right now.

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Old 12-02-2019, 04:20 PM   #73
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From what I understand, Eisner had a great start but he probably outlasted his ability to continue. Like Walt and Roy were great pair, so were Eisner and Wells. By the time Eisner stepped down, he pretty much had burned every bridge he could with Disney's partners and lost the confidence of the Disney community.

But there is no doubt that Disney would not exist today in any successful way without his leadership in the late '80s through 2000.

I suspect Iger will also get a better hearing from the parks community a few years down the road. In order for the parks to be strong and viable over the long-term, the company has to be strong and Iger has created a very strong Disney. I do wish he'd give a bit more of a creative budget to the parks, but I don't know how to run the most successful media company in existence right now.

Dirk

Yeah, it seemed like after Frank died, Eisner was just going through the motions. The cost cutting parks, etc. But I like to think that all the great stuff he and Frank did together will be his legacy and what he's remembered for. Turning Disney from its deathbed, to a juggernaut. When the Imagineering Story said he told the imagineers that "they were the crown jewel of the company" during a time when they thought he might fire all of them, that really spoke to the wisdom he had.
I'm just so happy Disney+ has the imagineering story. I didn't even know about Frank Wells before this show.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:20 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by carolina_yankee View Post
From what I understand, Eisner had a great start but he probably outlasted his ability to continue. Like Walt and Roy were great pair, so were Eisner and Wells. By the time Eisner stepped down, he pretty much had burned every bridge he could with Disney's partners and lost the confidence of the Disney community.

But there is no doubt that Disney would not exist today in any successful way without his leadership in the late '80s through 2000.

Dirk
No question on Eisner's impact. When he took over, Disney was undergoing it's 2nd hostile takeover attempt in a span of less than a year. He and Frank stabilized the ship, re-focused the company on the parks, and ended up increasing the value of Disney some forty-fold.

Wells' death, and Eisner's subsequent heart attack, took the life out of him. Once he turned over major parts of the company to businessmen, it was time for him to go. So yes, he outstayed his ability to truly lead, but if it wasn't for him Disney would have been bought and broken up long ago. Imagineering certainly wouldn't have survived. Eisner was more important to the company's survival than Iger is, though Iger clearly has done a tremendous job on growth and value return.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:34 PM   #75
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Seems so weird to me the hatred out there for this guy. Disney is killing it these days! Can't wait for all that's to come.
Disney parks are one big recession from a disaster. Iger has forgotten the consumer who put Disney in the position he inherited. For immediate gain he has alienated many many of those consumers. JMHO
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:37 PM   #76
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No question on Eisner's impact. When he took over, Disney was undergoing it's 2nd hostile takeover attempt in a span of less than a year. He and Frank stabilized the ship, re-focused the company on the parks, and ended up increasing the value of Disney some forty-fold.

Wells' death, and Eisner's subsequent heart attack, took the life out of him. Once he turned over major parts of the company to businessmen, it was time for him to go. So yes, he outstayed his ability to truly lead, but if it wasn't for him Disney would have been bought and broken up long ago. Imagineering certainly wouldn't have survived. Eisner was more important to the company's survival than Iger is, though Iger clearly has done a tremendous job on growth and value return.
I think they're both important in different ways. Eisner saved Disney. Literally kept it from falling apart (or being torn apart). Iger has positioned Disney for the future. One was more emergent at a time of crisis, the other more long term and reflective, but no less important, IMO.

If Disney weren't larger and more ready for the future, somebody else could just as easily come after them again, or they could have found that they needed to jettison some divisions to save others.

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Old 12-02-2019, 06:43 PM   #77
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Disney parks are one big recession from a disaster. Iger has forgotten the consumer who put Disney in the position he inherited. For immediate gain he has alienated many many of those consumers. JMHO
How so? They've been through many recessions, and certainly survived the Great Recession quite well.

They even have a larger built-in base of attendance now than ever before with the size of DVC, and they can contract as needed to control costs by closing wings or floors of resorts (which they've done) and reduce park hours.

Iger hasn't forgotten the consumer. He's found more consumers across the company's divisions. Look up a list of highest grossing films, especially those that have crossed the $1billion threshold - Disney owns more of them than any other studio, and is on track for being the highest grossing studio for several years in a row, breaking previous years' records.

It used to be said the parks carried the company - I don't think that's true anymore. The Company is too big. Parks help tremendously, but the Company is more diverse now and can carry weaker sectors for a season or two as needed.

The neat thing about Disney+, when families hit by a recession feel the need to cut something, that $7 a month won't be one of them, especially when it gives their kids a Disney dose of pixie dust.

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Old 12-02-2019, 10:16 PM   #78
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FI do wish he'd give a bit more of a creative budget to the parks, but I don't know how to run the most successful media company in existence right now.

Dirk
There are certainly people here who know a lot more about this than I do, so the following is more question/supposition than anything else.

It seems that, with all the new development at DHS and Epcot now, and what was done recently at MK and AK, they are giving quite a lot of money to new, creative development. Certainly the vision I saw for the Epcot transformation (basically into EPCOT, to a large degree) looks very creative.

Cheers.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:43 AM   #79
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Disney parks are one big recession from a disaster. Iger has forgotten the consumer who put Disney in the position he inherited. For immediate gain he has alienated many many of those consumers. JMHO
This logic is heavily flawed. The entire reason for a decline in attendance during a recession is that people have less discretionary income. So those consumers you're worried about won't have the money to spend at Disney during a recession anyway. If anything, he's strengthening the parks against an economic downturn by tailoring more offerings to higher income guests who would have more money to spend during a recession. Park attendance is a perishable item. Every guest that doesn't visit on any given day is lost forever - just like every unoccupied hotel room or airplane seat. That means every dollar that isn't spent is lost forever. A recession would mean less guests and, as a result, less dollars spent. It would be a wise business plan to maximize profit on available sources while they exist (and no, maximium attendance doesnt mean maximum profit) before they decline and are no longer available. MM+ has taught Disney how to be efficient under all circumstances. In a recession with declining attendance, they are already well prepared to curtail operating costs and adjust pricing to bring more guests, if necessary. Iger has made the parks leaner and able to turn faster. And while he's done that, he's added ridiculous amounts of capital to the company, some of which is being spent as capex in the parks division.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:05 AM   #80
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This makes much sense. Add on higher-end (and more expensive) offerings to the recession-proof. Indeed, it is possible to make more money with lower attendance as the per-cap spend increases and the attendance-based fixed costs (staff, in particular) decrease. Disney have continued to add the higher-end-for-spend items and this will fare very well in a recession.

The money he is investing in this shows very well that he is focused very specifically not on immediate gain, but on the longer-term viability of the company. This is what one should want from any CEO.

Cheers.
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