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Disney will retain dual CEO/Chairman role

Producer Harvey Weinstein and Walt Disney Company Chairman/CEO Robert Iger attend the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards Cocktail Party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. Iger's successor will retain both the CEO and Chairman roles.
Producer Harvey Weinstein and Walt Disney Company Chairman/CEO Robert Iger attend the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards Cocktail Party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. Iger's successor will retain both the CEO and Chairman roles. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Disney won't be splitting up the dual role that Bob Iger currently holds as Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board. 

That was the outcome of a vote held Tuesday at Disney's annual shareholder meeting. Iger has held both jobs since 2012. His tenure as CEO (and Chairman) will end in 2015, so the question was whether that structure should persist for the next person who gets the job.

In a bit of understatement, Variety reported that "just 35.3 percent" of shareholders voted to split the roles, which of course is more than a third of shareholders who attended the meeting.

Some heavy hitters, including CalSTRS, the big California teachers retirement fund, were among those calling for the division. And their support grew as the vote neared. From Variety:

The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds had proposed to separate the roles, backed by giant pension fund CalPERS, the Netherlands’ PGGM Investments, and the largest proxy advisory services ISS and Glass Lewis. CalPERS maintains a $260 million investment in Disney.

From a corporate governance standpoint, the issue here is that Iger as CEO is supposed to serve shareholders and the board, but perhaps not serve shareholders and on the board, a group that's meant to monitor the success of failure of the CEO.

But Disney's shareholders seem to like what Iger has delivered and, even after he's stepped down as CEO, want to continue to allow the CEO to wear the Chairman's hat, as well.

Disney stock closed down slightly on today's trading session, at $56.36 on the NYSE.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter. And ask Matt questions at Quora.

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