CalPERS announced it will vote its proxy against Michael D. Eisner, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., Burbank, Calif., citing poor performance of the company's stock and the fund's loss of confidence in Mr. Eisner's strategic vision. In a press release, the $165 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, which is the 29th largest Disney shareholder with 9.9 million shares, said it also would withhold votes for three Disney board members who serve on Disney's audit committee — Monica Lozano, Robert Matschullat, and the Rev. Leo J. O'Donovan — because of non-audit services the firm seeks from its outside auditor. CalPERS will vote for other Disney directors because of the firm's improved corporate governance practices.
"We have lost complete confidence in Mr. Eisner's strategic vision and leadership in creating shareholder value in the company," Sean Harrigan, president of the CalPERS board, said in a news release. "The company has lost more than 23% for the five-year period — nearly five times more than the losses incurred by the S&P 500 index for the comparable period."