Under pressure from investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point investment company, The Walt Disney Co. is adding former Facebook and Viacom exec Carolyn Everson to its board of directors.
Third Point, which in August disclosed that it owned $1 billion in Disney stock, was pushing Disney CEO Bob Chapek to make a number of changes, including spinning off ESPN.
Third Point backed off that demand, but wanted Disney to add an executive with media experience to its board. Everson’s appointment is part of an agreement between Disney and Third Point that includes a standstill pledge.
“We are pleased with our productive and ongoing dialogue with Bob and Disney’s management team,” said Loeb, CEO and chief investment officer of Third Point. “The expansion of Disney’s Board of Directors to include Carolyn Everson will add an important new perspective to an already accomplished group.”
Everson most recently served as president of Instacart. Before that, she was VP of the global business group at Facebook, now known as Meta. Earlier in her career she held senior posts at Microsoft and Viacom. She also held posts at Primedia, Walt Disney Imagineering and Accenture Consulting.
“With nearly three decades of experience in senior operating roles at dynamic consumer-facing organizations, Carolyn is a well-respected leader who will bring unique and valuable perspective to our Board,” said Chapek, whose contract was renewed in June. “Carolyn has had a hand in building a number of world-class digital advertising businesses, and her insights make her a great fit as we continue to position the company for long-term growth.”
Chapek called Disney’s relationship with Third Point “productive and collegial,” adding that "we share a deep commitment to continue building on Disney’s many successes and increasing shareholder value.”
Disney said more details of its agreement with Third Point will be disclosed in an SEC filing.
“I am incredibly excited and honored to join The Walt Disney Company’s Board and work alongside the outstanding directors and extraordinarily talented management team,” said Everson. “Disney is a beloved brand with an incredible history that brings joy to millions of consumers around the world and one that has meant so much to me and my family over the years. I am fully committed to helping progress Disney’s strategic priorities at an exciting time for the business and industry at large.” ■
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.