CalPERS Decides in Favor of Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo in Disney Boardroom Struggle

CalPERS Decides in Favor of Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo in Disney Boardroom Struggle

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) said the U.S. pension fund has voted to elect activist investor Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo to to the board of Walt Disney Company, Reuters reported Friday.

“CalPERS believes Walt Disney Co will benefit from fresh eyes on its board of directors and voted its company shares in favor of candidates Nelson Peltz and Jay Rasulo,” CalPERS, which owned 6.65 million shares in the media giant at the end of December, told the outlet.

CalPERS joins advisory firms Egan-Jones and Institutional Shareholder Services, who have already noted they’re backing Peltz and Rasulo.

The vote comes just days ahead of Disney’s annual shareholders meeting on April 3, where the final showdown is set to take place over two seats on the entertainment giant’s corporate board. That’s when investors will cast their votes for the board.

For several months, Peltz, founder of the investment firm Trian Partners, and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been at the center of a tense proxy fight for control of the two spots after Disney announced its 12 board nominees at the beginning of the year — which included Iger.

But then, Trian Partners — which controls a $3.5 billion stake in Disney — nominated Peltz and Rasulo, ex-Disney chief financial officer, for the board seats.

While this is Peltz’s second attempt at getting a seat on Disney’s board (He previously campaigned in 2023 but ultimately failed to score the spot), he is arguing now that Disney’s business is in decline under Iger.

However, Iger and Disney have been trying to convince shareholders not to vote for the investment firm’s candidates. The Disney CEO has previously said Peltz is a “distraction” that will ultimately hurt the company.

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