The Walt Disney Company has ousted Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter, citing cost-cutting moves as part of layoffs affecting 7,000 employees.
Perlmutter, 80, has had a long feud with Disney CEO Bob Iger, repeatedly backing activist investor Nelson Peltz’s bid to join the company’s board as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Perlmutter was told in a phone call Wednesday that Marvel Entertainment, a small consumer products division that operates separately from giant Marvel Studios, will be consolidated into other business units, the sources said. The New York Times.
Disney did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com and Perlmutter could not immediately be reached for comment.
Disney on Monday began cutting 7,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its workforce, as Iger works to cut about $5.5 billion in costs and boost the company’s financial results.
The Walt Disney Company ousted Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter (above in 2017), citing cost-cutting moves
Disney CEO Bob Iger (above) last month announced extensive restructuring and cost cuts after falling out with major Disney shareholders Nelson Peltz and Isaac Perlmutter.
The announcement came on the heels of a proxy war that famously upended the company, as Disney’s two major shareholders, Peltz and Perlmutter, accused Iger of running the company off the ground by spending too much money.
Perlmutter, who helmed the Marvel franchise for more than a decade until he was forced to step away in 2015, has requested that Peltz be added to the board of directors on six occasions, according to the Disney shareholder letter.
Perlmutter has been pressing the issue since July 2022, contacting former CEO Bob Chapek, director Safra Katz and other senior executives on behalf of Peltz.
Peltz ultimately pulled out of the proxy fray after Iger last month announced a sweeping restructuring aimed at cutting costs by billions, the CEO’s biggest move since returning to the job and replacing Chapek last year.
Perlmutter has a long-standing reputation as a penny-pincher, and he’s used his influence over the years to try to sharply limit the company’s spending.
He was CEO of Marvel Entertainment prior to Disney’s acquisition of the franchise in 2009, and helped broker the acquisition, reportedly paying $800 million in cash and a hefty bonus of Disney stock.
Perlmutter oversaw the early Marvel Cinematic Universe until Iger sidelined him in 2015, at which point Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige began reporting directly to the Walt Disney Studios president.
Hating the press, Perlmutter has never given a media interview throughout his long career, and has only been photographed a handful of times.
Investor Nelson Peltz finally pulled out of the proxy battle after Iger last month announced a sweeping restructuring aimed at cutting costs by billions.
Nelson Peltz (left) with his daughter Nicola Peltz (right). Peltz ended his proxy bid against Disney after the company agreed to multibillion-dollar cost-cutting measures
Iger’s move to publicly oust Perlmutter from his role overseeing Marvel Studios in 2015 sparked a behind-the-scenes war between the billionaires, according to Wall Street Journal.
Speaking last month about his decision to push Perlmutter to the sidelines, Iger told CNBC, “He wasn’t happy about it. And I think the unhappiness is there today.”
Perlmutter had planned to help get Peltz on the Disney board, where he could use his role to constrain the company’s budget thereafter.
But the plot was called off after Iger announced he would step down in two years and reduce the company’s workforce – joining a growing number of companies to cut thousands of jobs in recent months.
A person close to Perlmutter told the Wall Street Journal: “For him, excessive spending is like a cancer. If it’s not constantly monitored, it grows.
This whole fight wasn’t, in Ike’s opinion, about changing Disney’s palette. It was mostly about changing their attitude.
This frugal attitude has Perlmutter repeatedly contradicting Iger over Disney spending, including controversy over his 2008 film Iron Man, which launched the MCU.
The executive was said to be so angry at the film’s bloated budget that he demanded an action sequence featuring ten Humvees with only three cars.
After Iger later fired Perlmutter as CEO of Marvel, the billionaire conspired with Peltz to reform the board of directors and remove Iger from power.
The proxy war saw the billionaire back a campaign to maneuver Peltz into a position of influence so he could make big changes.
In January, Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP said it owned about 9.4 million shares valued at about $900 million, which it raised several months earlier.
Peltz had previously taken a firm stance against Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox in 2019, as well as its failed succession planning that led to the impeachment of Bob Chapek and Iger’s second reign.
Malice saw him team up with ousted President Perlmutter to win control of the company’s board of directors.
When the dispute became public, Iger responded, claiming that the investor — who is worth about $1.4 billion — “has not expressed a vision or even ideas of particular value to us.”
It was said that Perlmutter was so angry at Iron Man’s bloated budget that he demanded an action sequence featuring ten Humvees being launched with only three. Pictured: Robert Downey Jr. in the 2008 movie that launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe
After the restructuring was announced, Trian applauded Iger’s cost-cutting moves, with Peltz saying the move was “a win for all shareholders” and the decision “is broadly in line with our thinking.”
Peltz’s triumphant cycle also saw him appear on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street last month, where he said Disney now “plans to do everything we want them to do.”
“We wish all the best to Bob (Iger), this management team and the board. We’ll be watching. We’ll be rooting,” said the 80-year-old.
Now set to leave his position in two years, Iger said he plans to use his remaining time to guide the company to profitability by 2024.