Key Player: Michael Eisner

Chairman/CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Exec trivia: Eisner was a “Tonight Show” usher at NBC.

The basics: After gigs as a senior VP at ABC and president of Paramount, Eisner took over as Disney’s top man in 1984, charged with revitalizing the studio’s flagging fortunes. Initiatives to that end include major growth in the theme park and merchandise arenas, the acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC and numerous cable assets, the growth of Disney’s theatrical division, the studio’s maturation as a major live-action film player, the acquisition of Miramax, and Disney’s Pixar partnership.

Rep: Among the industry’s heaviest hitters, Eisner is known as tough negotiator and the driving force behind Disney’s re-emergence as a leading force in the industry.

Company line: “Disney enjoys a great tradition of excellence in filmmaking — the key ingredient of which is the ability to tell a great story. While building upon our heritage is no small task, Dick Cook and his team have embraced the challenge, and with a constant focus on creative storytelling, they are doing an incredible job of carrying on the Disney motion-picture legacy.”

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