Business

Facebook, Twitter supremos ditch Disney as biz steps on their turf

Tech bigwigs won't seek re-election to Mickey Mouse board

By Rebecca Hill

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The Walt Disney Company's increasing interest in moving its shows online has forced two Silicon Valley supremos to leave the board.

Twitter chief exec Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are not seeking re-election to the company's board of directors due to a growing conflict of interest, Reuters reports.

As traditional cable viewers decline, Disney is looking to new methods of publishing that brings it into more direct competition with online platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

It is also expanding its entertainment empire. The biz gobbled Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for $66bn last year, which will see it get its hands on – among many other businesses – streaming service Hulu.

Disney said of the board members' departure: "Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms Sandberg and Mr Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly difficult for them to avoid conflicts relating to board matters, and they are not standing for re-election."

The move was revealed in Disney's latest SEC filing, which also indicated how much the pair will be missing out on next year. According to the document, Sandberg received a total financial compensation of $374,106 in fiscal 2017, while Dorsey pulled in $305,274.

But the board will still have some tech representatives on it: Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle, joined last year, while Blackberry boss John Chen remains.

They, along with eight other board members, will seek re-election at the annual meeting in March, when Dorsey and Sandberg officially step down. ®

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