PHILADELPHIA, March 4 (UPI) -- Michael Eisner has stepped down as chairman of the Walt Disney Co., in response to shareholder dissent but will remain chief executive officer.
The board named George Mitchell, Disney's presiding director, interim chairman. He will serve in a non-executive capacity.
Eisner made the move at the company's annual meeting in Philadelphia, where shareholders withheld 43 percent of voted shares.
"There are obviously certain people that are not happy with me, personally, I guess," Eisner told Disney's ABC television network.
The Wall Street Journal said shareholders are unhappy with a range of issues, including Eisner's leadership, the company's corporate governance practices, and its lagging financial performance and stock price over most of the last seven years.
Disney is trying to ride out threats of a shareholder revolt and an unsolicited bid from Comcast Corp.