Mouse house taps pair for board

The 'Opinion' is to bring in outside directors

The Walt Disney Co. has added an exec at a Spanish-lingo newspaper and an electric utility chief as board members, bringing to 14 its number of outside directors and to 18 the total number of board members.

Monica Lozano, 44, is president and chief operating officer of Los Angeles-based La Opinion, the nation’s largest Latino daily newspaper, and also serves as prexy of the California state Board of Education. John Bryson, 57, is chairman and CEO of Edison Intl., parent company of the Southern California Edison utility.

Ignacio Lozano, Lozano’s father and publisher of La Opinion, plans to retire from the Disney board next year, the Mouse House said, and it’s expected that another director will also reach retirement age and step down in 2001. Those moves will bring the board again to 16 members, 12 of them outside directors.

Disney has worked to boost its number of outside directors in recent years, addressing criticism from institutional investors that the company had too many corporate insiders on its board.

“Two essential aspects of (Disney’s) mission are effective communication with the public and responsible management of natural resources,” Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner said. “These two new board members bring an outstanding level of expertise in and understanding of these important areas.”

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