BURBANK, Calif., Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Walt Disney Co. chief executive Michael Eisner has announced plans to retire in 2006, after two decades at the company's helm.
Eisner survived a takeover bid and a shareholder rebellion earlier this year, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
Disney has transformed during Eisner's tenure from a cartoon and amusement park company into a media giant, with radio stations and broadcast and cable television networks that produce programs seen in 51 countries. The corporation operates cruise ships, three movie studios and sells DVDs, dolls, and mouse-eared electronic gadgets found in homes around the world.
"I think over the next two years as I create an environment for this transition, I'm going to work harder than I ever have," Eisner said in an interview Friday.
"My affection for Disney will never retire," he wrote in a letter to the company's board.
Eisner said he will depart when his contract ends on Sept. 30, 2006, coinciding with the conclusion of Disney's fiscal year.