LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The chairman of California's Walt Disney may clash with its outgoing chief executive, particularly over the hunt for CEO Michael Eisner's successor.
George Mitchell faces pressure to show his independence of Eisner, particularly now that Eisner has backed an internal replacement, Disney President Robert Iger, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
The selection of Iger by the board would strengthen the perception that Eisner is still pulling Mitchell's strings.
"For Mitchell this is one of those acid tests," said Charles Elson, a corporate governance expert at the University of Delaware. "To date he's been a very strong supporter of Eisner. Now he's at a fork in the road, and which road he takes will have a huge impact on how investors view him."
On Thursday, Mitchell stressed that Eisner would have no more influence in the selection of his successor than any other board member.
"We will listen to and consider his view. But in the end, the decision will be made by the full board," he said. "We have one standard and one standard only: what's best for the company and the shareholders."