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Fund, Disney Clash Over Board Makeup

Entertainment: TIAA-CREF files resolution to force company to add independent directors.

January 07, 1998|From Bloomberg News

TIAA-CREF, the largest private pension fund in the United States, filed a shareholder resolution against Walt Disney Co. that would force Disney to increase the number of independent directors on its board, the Financial Times reported, citing Kenneth West, the fund's senior consultant for corporate governance.

The New York-based Teachers Insurance and Annuity Assn.-College Retirement Equities Fund, which is a Disney shareholder, says only three of Disney's 12 independent directors are actually independent, with the rest having "significant personal or financial ties to the company's management."

The resolution, opposed by management of the Burbank-based company, will be voted on by shareholders at next month's annual meeting.

Last month, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner sold 5.4 million company shares worth about $514 million.

Shares of Disney closed Tuesday at $98.44, down 38 cents on New York Stock Exchange.

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