Walt Disney President Michael Eisner: A Success Story

After graduating from university, Michael Eisner went to work in television and made a successful career there, but then decided to move to the Walt Disney studio. As a result, he was able to transform the Walt Disney Company, expand it and regain its former popularity.

  • FULL NAME: Michael Eisner (Michael Dammann Eisner).
  • Date of Birth: March 7, 1942.
  • Education: higher (Denison University), has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Work in business: late 1970s – early 1980s – Until now.
  • Current position: until 2006 – chairman of the Walt Disney Corporation, since 2006 – host of his own television talk show.
  • Current state: $1 billion (according to Forbes magazine).
  • Official site: http://www.michaeleisner.com

Michael Eisner is the man who successfully modernized the activities of the Walt Disney animation studio. He is often confused with another Michael Eisner – writer, author of the famous book “Crusader”. It would seem that there can be nothing in common between a writer and a billionaire. However, two full namesakes are united by ingenuity and a creative approach to work.

Brief information

The future cartoon billionaire was born in the New York suburb of Mount Kisco. After graduating from school, Michael entered Denison University and successfully graduated from it. After that, the young man went to work at the well-known television company NBC, where he worked in the following positions:

  • junior service staff;
  • clerk;
  • assistant secretary;
  • lead manager.

Soon, the budding young man moved to the ABC channel, where he was entrusted with compiling the broadcast schedule. There he took part in the creation of such bestsellers as the Indiana Jones saga. In 1984, despite a high position and a successful career, Eisner suddenly made the decision to leave to work for the Disney studio.

It is interesting! Michael was born into a family of influential parents: the father of the future tycoon was the Minister of Housing and Communal Services, and his mother headed a medical research institute. Interest in television arose from the young man during his student days.

Figure 1. Tycoon and television star

Figure 1. Tycoon and television star

Eisner’s early career

It was cooperation with the world’s most famous corporation for the production of cartoons that became a real “high point” for a talented entrepreneur. When Eisner took over as head of the Disney studio, he succeeded in:

  • join several TV channels to the company;
  • acquire ownership of the corporation several film studios;
  • open Disneyland in Paris;
  • implement a project to create Disneyland in Hong Kong.

To increase the income of the corporation, the new leader began to actively sell the rights to show old Disney feature films and animated films to interested TV channels. With Eisner at the head, the Disney studio entered a new stage of development.

It is interesting! When Eisner joined the Walt Disney Corporation, the largest animation studio was in crisis. The company almost did not release new products, and employees were threatened with mass layoffs. The future billionaire saved the day by opening a new branch for the production of cartoons for showing on television in the morning hours.

Figure 2. Walt Disney's most famous studio director

Figure 2. Walt Disney’s most famous studio director

Difficulties on the way to success

When a new leader came to the most famous cartoon studio, not everyone approved of his policies. Corporation employees, journalists and critics argued that with the advent of Eisner, Disney products became more “commercial” and of the same type. Also, the future billionaire had to face such difficulties as:

  • high costs of acquiring new ideas and cartoon characters from authors;
  • losses suffered by the corporation due to the large number of unprofitable property;
  • lack of interest in old Disney cartoons, unpopularity of old characters;
  • tough competition with other companies producing cartoons.

In 2005, the entrepreneur decided that he had done everything possible for the Disney company, and publicly announced his resignation. However, the businessman did not change television and decided to try himself as a presenter. His author’s talk show takes place in the format of a casual conversation with well-known leaders, figures of science and culture.

Main achievements and awards

The entrepreneur received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also unofficially considered the most famous head of the Walt Disney Company. It was at the time when Eisner held a leadership position that real blockbusters for children, Aladdin and The Lion King, were created at the Disney corporation.

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He also built the famous Japanese Disneyland. From a simple cartoon production company, the Disney studio has become a huge conglomerate of studios, TV channels and radio stations. The billionaire talks about this period in his life in detail in his autobiography entitled “The Work Is Going On”.

Figure 3. Cartoon billionaire

Figure 3. Cartoon billionaire

Personal life

The entrepreneur is happy in a single marriage; Jane Breckenridge became his girlfriend and companion for many years. The couple has three adult sons, the eldest is named Michael in honor of his father. He became a famous director and took the pseudonym “Break” so that no one would confuse father and son. Among the most famous films of Break are the films “Sahara” and “Mad Men”. His last major project was The Last Witch Hunter, released in 2015. Break also actively shoots commercials and acts as a producer of various television projects.

Eisner’s associates argue that the current success of the Walt Disney Company is the merit of Michael: he was able to direct the corporation’s activities in the right direction, turning the unprofitable production of animated products into a commercially profitable business. Perhaps modern Disney cartoons are inferior in quality to the classic masterpieces of the mid-twentieth century, but the products produced are invariably in great demand among a wide audience.

Tips from Michael Eisner on how to run a successful business: