The addition of the executives to the board brings the total number of members to 13 for the time being.
The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors has appointed two new directors—James P. Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, and Sir Jeremy Darroch, an accomplished media executive and former Group Chief Executive of Sky. The appointments, effective January 9, 2024, for Darroch and February 5, 2024, for Gorman, underscore Disney’s commitment to a robust board focused on long-term company performance, strategic growth initiatives, succession planning, and shareholder value.
Speaking about the new appointments, Mark G. Parker, Chairman of the Board of The Walt Disney Company, said: “James and Jeremy are both widely respected leaders in their industries, and their expertise will complement the talents and experience of the Disney board as we continue to focus on delivering for consumers and shareholders alike. In the 14 years that James has been CEO of Morgan Stanley, he has overseen a strategic transformation of the institution and delivered significant shareholder value, and was integral to Morgan Stanley’s well-managed succession process over the past year. Jeremy brings extensive leadership in the international media business, and during his tenure at Sky, he led Sky’s successful transition from a linear satellite broadcaster to one of Europe’s largest multi-platform TV providers.”
Gorman added: “Disney stands apart, both in its creative excellence and its deep connection with consumers. It is an incredible opportunity to join this accomplished board of directors, and to lend my experience and perspective as the company implements its strategic vision to build for the future.”
Darroch stated: “I am thrilled to join the board of directors of one of the most beloved brands in the world at such a pivotal moment for the company. I look forward to working closely with my fellow board members to advise Disney’s executive leadership on the implementation of their strategic priorities designed to drive sustained growth and create long-term shareholder value.”
Gorman and Darroch will be included in the company’s slate of director nominees for Disney’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Concurrently, Disney board member Francis A. deSouza has opted not to stand for reelection at the annual meeting, pursuing new opportunities in the technology sector that demand his full attention.
Francis A. deSouza commented: “I’m immensely proud to have had the opportunity to serve such an important and cherished institution alongside this group of esteemed board members. I have enormous admiration and affection for the company and its leaders and Cast Members, and I look forward to cheering on every future success as a lifelong Disney fan as I step down to pursue my next career endeavours.”
Parker noted: “We are grateful to Francis for his years of service on the Disney board, and understand his desire not to stand for reelection in the spring as he pursues his next venture. He has provided invaluable guidance during his tenure, and we wish him the very best.”
James Gorman assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Morgan Stanley in January 2010 and took on the position of Chairman in January 2012. Effective January 1, 2024, he is set to become the Executive Chairman. Gorman joined the firm in February 2006 and was appointed Co-President in December 2007. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he held executive positions at Merrill Lynch. Gorman’s tenure as CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley showcases a track record of driving the strategic transformation of a global financial institution, emphasising a long-term sustainable business model.
On the other hand, Jeremy Darroch, the former Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Sky, embarked on his journey with Sky as Chief Financial Officer in 2004. Over the years, he climbed the ranks, securing the position of Group Chief Executive in 2007. In 2021, Darroch served as Executive Chairman. His extensive experience is poised to offer valuable insights to Disney’s board and management as they navigate the strategic expansion of Direct-to-Consumer offerings and adapt to evolving media and entertainment landscapes. Additionally, Darroch brings perspectives on creative content investment and brand evolution to the table.