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Nelson Peltz seeks a seat on Disney's board, and some changes

Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management is formally nominating the activist investor and a former Disney executive for a seat on Disney's board, two days after the media and entertainment company nominated a slate of directors that did not include either.

Peltz and Jay Rasulo, Disney's former chief financial officer, said in a preliminary proxy filing Thursday that they wanted to complete a successful CEO succession at Disney and align management pay with performance.

It was announced in November 2022 that Bob Iger would come back to the company as its CEO to replace his hand-picked successor, Bob Chapek, whose two-year tenure had been marked by clashes, missteps and a weakening financial performance.

Iger was Disney’s public face for 15 years as chief executive before handing the job off to Chapek in 2020, a stretch in which Iger compiled a string of victories lauded in the entertainment industry and by Disney fans.

The filing states that Peltz and Rasulo would also like Disney to hit “Netflix-like EBITDA margins” of 15% to 20% by 2027.

On Tuesday The Walt Disney Co.'s board recommended shareholders vote for its slate of 12 directors, which includes General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Iger and Mark Parker, Disney's chairman. The board said that it didn't endorse the nominations of Peltz or Rasulo. It also didn't endorse the nominations of Craig Hatkoff, Jessica Schell and Leah Solivan put forth by Blackwells Group.

Earlier this month Disney said that it had a new ally in activist investor ValueAct Capital Management, garnering its support for the company’s board nominees. Disney said that a confidentiality agreement with ValueAct would allow the company to provide information to ValueAct and consult with it on strategic matters, including through meetings with its board and management.

Disney's 2024 annual shareholders meeting is expected to be held in the spring.

Shares are up 1% Thursday, but they're down 7% over the past year.