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Outgoing Disney CEO Michael Eisner participates in a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony July 14, 2005. A court decision yesterday cleared the Walt Disney Co. in connection with a lucrative severance package given to former company president Michael Ovitz. Ruminating on Eisner, the ruling judge wrote: "By virtue of his Machiavellian (and imperial) nature as CEO, and his control over (Michael) Ovitz's hiring in particular, Eisner to a large extent is responsible for the failings in process that infected and handicapped the board's decisionmaking abilities. "Eisner," the judge continues, "stacked his (and I intentionally write "his" as opposed to "the Company's") board of directors with friends and other acquaintances who, though not necessarily beholden to him in a legal sense, were certainly more willing to accede to his wishes and support him unconditionally than truly independent directors." . (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen/File
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Michael Eisner (born March 7, 1942) is the former chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. His tenure at Disney lasted from September 22, 1984 to September 30, 2005.

Michael Eisner was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and raised on Park Avenue in Manhattan. He attended the Allen-Stevenson School followed by The Lawrenceville School and graduated from Denison University in 1964 with a B.A. in English. He is a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. His great-grandfather, Sigmund Eisner, was one of the first uniform suppliers to the Boy Scouts of America.

After two brief stints at NBC and CBS, Barry Diller at ABC hired Eisner as Assistant to the National Programming Director. Eisner moved up the ranks, eventually becoming a senior vice president in charge of programming and development. In 1976, Diller, who had by then moved on to become chairman of Paramount Pictures, recruited Eisner from ABC and made him president and CEO of the movie studio. During his tenure at Paramount, the studio turned out such hit films as Saturday Night Fever, Grease, the Star Trek film franchise, and Beverly Hills Cop, and hit TV shows such as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Cheers and Family Ties.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Michael Eisner."