Sample Business Paper on Corporate Governance and Business Ethics

Question 1

In 2003, The Walt Disney Company had 13 directors serving on its board of directors. According to Downes et al. (2007), the main members of the board of directors included Michael Eisner who was The Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO and Reveta F. Bowers who served The Walter Disney Company as a board member for ten years from 1993 to 2003. Bowers also headed the schools at the Center for Early Education in Los Angeles where she constantly received funding from Michael Eisner together with Father Leo O’Donovan another board member of the company Other members of the board were Roy Disney, nephew of the late Walt Disney who founder of the Walt Disney Company, who was the Vice Chairman of the company’s board of directors and Stanley P. Gold who has both personal and commercial ties to Roy Disney. Also forming prat of the board were Raymond Watson, Robert A. Iger who was the president of Disney Company, Sidney Poitier who was a professional actor, Robert Stern who was an architect, and the then dean of Yale Faculty of Architecture; and Andrea L. Van de Kamp.

Question 2

The board of directors was unwavering in their support of Michael Eisner as most of the board members were allied to the then Disney Company CEO and Chairman, Michael Eisner. Most of the then board members of the Disney Company had economic and personal attachments to Michael Eisner. Both Father Leo O’Donovan and Reveta Bowers had managed schools that had managed from the funding of Michael Eisner (Downes et al., 2017). Moreover, Raymond Watson, Stanley Gold, and Reveta Bowers had used their position of influence in Disney Company to get their children employed in the company. Therefore, in short, the Disney Board was not independent.

Question 3

Eisner has three options that are to retire or resign from the Disney Company, await the final decision of the Disney board concerning his fate, and resign from either of his roles as Chairperson and CEO of the Disney Company (Downes et al., 2007). I believe that Michael Eisner considered first his financial interests and how they would be affected by the decision he would have made. As one of the biggest individual shareholders, Michael Eisner considered the interest of the company’s shareholders.

Question 4

I believe that Michael Eisner’s compensation in the year 2003, which totaled more than $8 million is commensurate with the work he has invested in the company. Through his guidance, the company has made tremendous progress and raised its annual income from a merger $1.7 billion to more than $25 billion within a period of ten years. In the contemporary corporate world, the average CEO is tied to a performance contract which stipulates that their payment packages will be in accordance with their company’s annual performance. Other diversified firms such as Tesla and Apple offer their CEO compensation packages based on the company’s performance and the amount of revenue made by the companies in each financial year. According to (Dsouza, 2020), in 2018 the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, was paid a compensation of $513 million due to the company’s success in the fiscal year 2017-2018. Based on the current trend of the hefty size of CEO payment packages, there is a minimum level of remuneration required to attract and retain high-quality corporate leadership.

Question 5

From the shareholders’ perspective, wrangles within the Disney Company’s board brought anxiety and fears of fiduciary mistrust. The board of directors of any given company is supposed to safeguard the fiduciary and financial interests of the stakeholders. Moreover, the board also needs to provide steady guidance of the company and the wrangles witnessed in Disney Company’s board are a recipe for disaster from the shareholders’ viewpoint. The wrangles evident in the Disney Company’s board lower the Disney Company shareholders’ confidence in the workings of the company.

Question 6

The conflict exhibited by the Disney Company board bears negatively on every of the company’s stakeholder’s perspective. The public conflict and wrangles exhibited by Disney’s board paint a negative picture on the company’s stakeholders such as suppliers and employees. The internal wrangling in the Disney Company also affects non-stakeholders of the company, such as the general public, as they portray Disney products in a bad light.

Question 7

Robert Iger after the retirement of Michael Eisner took over the leadership reigns in Disney Company. Robert’s leadership was characterized by and hands-off approach that contrasted Michael’s direct and authoritarian approach to management. Robert Iger’s hands-off leadership may be viewed by Disney Company shareholders and stakeholders as a better alternative to Michael Eisner’s domineering style as it provides the best model to rebuild the relationship bridges destroyed or weakened during the leadership of Eisner.

Question 8

I am of the opinion that Robert Iger currently does not have a proper succession plan in place as he just but recently extended his stay at Disney to 2021. The fact that Robert Iger has not decided to hand over the leadership of Disney Company to fresh blood indicates his lack of a succession strategy.

 

References

Downes, M., Russ, G. S., & Ryan, P. A. (2007). Michael Eisner and His Reign at Disney. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies13(3), 71-81.

DSouza, D. (2020, January 30). Top 10 Highest Paid Executives for 2018. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/highest-paid-ceos-2019-4687532