Sunday, October 17, 2004

Disney Comes to Georgetown

I'm reminded of the plot of a movie in which a high-powered executive is forced, for one reason or another, to spend some time away from a grand metropolis, and encounters small town America and all of its charms, and experiences a life-changing adventure.

It's the type of plot that may have even run in a Disney movie or two. In the real life version of this vision, Disney is coming to Georgetown, Delaware. I don't know how Delaware's small town ambience will affect the litigants, and the executives involved, but the residents of Georgetown may experience a media circus that could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

The lawsuit is one which questions the severance package that had been given to former Disney executive Michael Ovitz. Since the action is on behalf of the shareholders of the company, and Disney is incorporated in Delaware, the venue for the case is in Delaware, within Delaware's Chancery Court.

As the folks at CNN point out, the Disney hearings in Georgetown will be under a microscope. It's possible that in addition to the severence monies paid to Michael Ovitz, some of the issues discussed will involve the topic of compensation of executives for large corporations. An article from the Quad-City Times last month (reprinted from the LA Times), Disney struggles with CEO choice today, mentions some of the concerns that share holders may have had in the choice to hire Ovitz, and the negotiations surrounding his firing and severence.

The case starts on Wednesday, and while it might not be showing on the movie screens, it may have an impact upon what does in the years to come.

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