Wisconsin State Investment Board, Madison, sold 1.7 million shares of Walt Disney Co. stock after withholding its proxy votes on its 6.8 million shares for the re-election of Michael D. Eisner, chairman and CEO, and seven other directors. The $62.8 billion system sold the shares after the proxy record date of Jan. 16 and now has 5.1 million shares, said Vicki Hearing, public information officer. Also, the board voted against ratification of Disney's auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers. SWIB officials declined to elaborate on its proxy voting or share sale, Ms. Hearing said.
Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, Jefferson City, also withheld its proxy votes for the re-election of Mr. Eisner. Gary W. Findlay, executive director, said the $5.4 billion system typically follows the recommendation of Institutional Shareholder Services. ISS has called for investors to withhold their votes for Mr. Eisner. MOSERS is voting for the other 10 directors, in line with the ISS recommendation. The system has about 70,000 Disney shares.
Disney's annual shareholders meeting is Wednesday in Philadelphia.