Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner, faced with sagging morale within the ranks, sent an e-mail Monday to about 70,000 employees, saying current management is positioned to lead the company into an era of prosperity.
Eisner, who last week was stripped of his chairmanship title because of shareholder discontent, wrote: "While a lot is being said about our company in the media, remember this one simple fact: Magic and imagination exist. They live and breathe and have a name, and that name is The Walt Disney Company."
Eisner had appeared on television and in newspaper interviews in response to an unprecedented 43% no-confidence vote for his reelection to the board. But until Monday, Disney employees had not heard from the man who has headed the company for nearly two decades.
Senior executives had said in interviews that employees throughout the Burbank-based company were rattled and distracted by the controversy that culminated with Disney's annual meeting Wednesday in Philadelphia.
"As is appropriate at any shareholder meeting," Eisner said, "ours was an occasion to hear from people who are both complimentary and critical of your company and its management." But he said that "even on the most contentious issues, a majority of shareholders endorsed our current course."