The Walt Disney Co took the offensive against two former board members, touting the Disney brand in full-page newspaper ads and writing to shareholders to outline the company's recent accomplishments. \nMonday's moves come two days before Disney is expected to release strong first-quarter earnings and follows an aggressive campaign to oust Disney chief executive Michael Eisner waged by former board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold. \nIn a "Dear Shareholders," letter dated Friday, Disney's 13 board members outlined the "company's real turnaround" over the past year and urged shareholders not to be "misled" by claims made over the past few months by Gold and Roy Disney. \n"You should be disturbed by this attack, which comes at a time when your company is achieving very positive results," the letter stated. \nThe letter repeats the company's expectation of earnings growth of at least 30 percent this year and adds that the board expects to add another independent director this year. \nThe letter also offers the company's first formal defense of Eisner's record. \n"And they totally ignore the impressive performance record of Michael Eisner, who, as one of the company's largest individual shareholders, is fundamentally focused on your interests," the letter states. \nThe letter points out that Disney's stock rose 43 percent last year, compared to a 26 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. \nthe other side of the coin \nRoy Disney and Gold have complained that Disney's stock price underperformed major indexes from 1996 to last year. \n"They're trying to defend Mr. Eisner's positions in many different facets of the company leading up to the shareholder meeting," David Miller, an analyst with Sanders Morris Harris, said Monday of the company's letter. \nRoy Disney and Gold replied quickly to Monday's letter, saying that if the company reaches its financial goals for this year, earnings will still be approximately on par with those achieved six years ago. \n"It appears that the board continues to resist independent, thoughtful consideration of opinions raised in opposition to Michael Eisner," they said in a letter to board members. \nLast week, the Disney dissident group sent a letter to company board member George Mitchell, challenging the company to release letters and presentations Gold and Roy Disney made to the board over the past two years. \n"The company has questioned the accuracy of our statements without supporting its claims," according to the letter, signed by Shamrock Investments officer Michael McConnell. \n"We are prepared to openly discuss all of our statements," he said. \nShamrock Investments is run by Gold primarily to manage Roy Disney's financial holdings.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no