Michael Eisner’s two year notice is about twice as long as the usual notice given from CEOs. I noted that this might be problem and writers at the LATimes seem to think so too. This long period of transition will allow for candidates to rise and fall and for various factions inside the company to fight for prominance. It could get pretty ugly.
The article also posits about possible replacements from outside the Mouse House:
Some say three factors will be most important. The company must tap someone who can revitalize its dominance in children’s entertainment; someone with turnaround experience who can put Disney’s foundering ABC broadcasting network back on track; and a technological visionary who can lead the company into the wireless future.
But that supposition is wrong. Disney has to revitalize its dominance in family entertainment. Shows and Movies and Themepark attractions and resorts that the whole family can enjoy as a unit together. The balkanization of the Disney Channels is one example of how things have gone wrong. The technological visionary part is right, however.
A few years ago Disney was poised with a R&D division at Walt Disney Imagineering that could position the company in the lead of technological change. Now all those employees are gone. The current management also fails to understand where digital rights managment is going. They’re at the head of a pointless battle against file sharing. It’s going to happen one way or another. Soon whole HD quality movies will fit on affordable key chain harddrives and will be traded like baseball cards. Downloading these movies would take hours even with broadband and fiber to curb, but burning them onto a key chain USB or Firewire drive just minutes. Preventing this sort of filesharing will be even more impossible than the semi traceable internet version. So the new CEO needs to be able to admit that change is coming and deal with it the best the company can.
Enough rambling for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the next CEO shortly.