Ian Patrick, FISM News
Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaak “Ike” Perlmutter, one of the recent people to be laid at the Walt Disney Company, is alleging that he was fired due to a confrontation with Disney officials.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Perlmutter said that he has “no doubt” that his termination within the company “was based on fundamental differences in business between my thinking and Disney leadership, because I care about return on investment.”
Disney said that Perlmutter’s termination was part of a slew of layoffs within the company. Perlmutter, however, contends that his termination “was merely a convenient excuse to get rid of a longtime executive who dared to challenge the company’s way of doing business.”
One of Perlmutter’s disagreements with Disney leadership is the way they handle their movies. He claims that Disney and Marvel leadership are too concerned with box office sales, instead of “the bottom line.”
The former Marvel executive claims that he tried to convince Disney to stop spending so much money on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He cited the length and cost of the production process for his reasoning.
Perlmutter openly aired his concerns with the company’s decisions to various allies while working there, which he believes led to his firing.
Perlmutter also said that he thought that Disney’s foray into the political realm was a bad move for the company and tried to warn leadership to avoid political battles at all costs
He even called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis personally when Disney picked a political fight with the Florida government.
“Ron, you’re right. Disney doesn’t have the right to get involved with politics,” WSJ quoted Perlmutter as saying.
He told Disney executives that a political fight like this is “a no-win situation.”
Perlmutter also noted his involvement in promoting activist investor Nelson Peltz to Disney’s board of directors.
“My experience with any major corporation, when they’re having problems and they don’t have the free cash or whatever it is, usually people like Nelson Peltz know how to put it back on track,” Perlmutter stated.
Peltz had initiated a proxy war against Disney prior to Perlmutter’s involvement, but he ended that war after returning Disney CEO Bob Iger announced spending cuts.
Perlmutter will continue to hold his nearly 30 million shares of Disney, worth about $3 billion.
In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Perlmutter said he will “continue to advocate for actions that secure Disney’s long-term financial health and allow a new generation of management to reverse the trend of falling shareholder equity and return the dividend to its prior level.”