Disney CEO Bob Iger blasts DeSantis over ‘anti-business' retaliation
The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, criticizes the recent actions of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as being "anti-business."
Florida Governor Bob Iger was rebuffed by Walt Disney Co.'s Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger. Ron DeSantis called Monday's actions by the governor against Disney retaliatory, 'anti-business' and called it 'anti business'
Iger responded to a question at Monday's company annual meeting, "To attempt to punish a corporation for exercising a constitutional right...that just seems really wrong," Iger stated. "These attempts to retaliate against a company's position sounds not only anti-business but also anti-Florida.
Iger was referring specifically to Disney's DIS (-0.37% opposition Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act restricting classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity) and to DeSantis reaction to that company's position. The agreement was signed by the Reedy Creek Improvement district, a board supported by Disney that severely limits the governor's power in the area. Both the Florida legislature and the Republican governor are currently investigating whether this agreement is legal.
During Monday's meeting, Iger stated that the governor was angry at Disney's position [towards what critics call "Don't Say Gay" bill]. It seems like he has decided to retaliate to us, including the naming a new board for the property to oversee the business.
The office of DeSantis was not immediately available to comment.
According to Iger, Disney employs over 75,000 people in Florida, and attracts 50 millions visitors annually. It is also the largest taxpayer in the state. He stated that Disney intends to invest more than $17B in Walt Disney World, Orlando, over the next ten years.
The shareholders had supported 11 nominees for Disney's board, including Iger, Mark Parker, the executive chairman of Nike Inc. NKE -0.79% who will replace Susan Arnold, the retiring Walt Disney Chair.