Disney has emerged triumphant in a boardroom clash against critics who had accused the media conglomerate of mishandling its streaming strategy and losing its innovative edge.

Activist investors, led by Nelson Peltz of Trian Management, had sought seats on Disney's board, claiming that it was too aligned with the company's leadership. They aimed to advocate for priorities such as increased profitability.

However, the majority of shareholders voted to retain the current board, rejecting the demands of the activist investors.

During the shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Disney announced that its board nominees had been elected with a significant majority. Only 31% of the votes supported Mr. Peltz's bid for a seat, according to insider sources.

While this battle raised questions about Disney's challenges in its film and television sectors, it also cast a shadow over the legacy of longtime leader Bob Iger.

Mr. Peltz emphasized at the meeting that their goal was for Disney to refocus on creating exceptional content and captivating consumers, while also delivering sustainable long-term value for shareholders.

Known for his corporate battles with major firms, Mr. Peltz criticized Disney for its slow response to the decline in pay television subscribers and questioned the success of significant acquisitions, such as the purchase of a substantial portion of Rupert Murdoch's media empire in 2019.

Trian and Blackwells Capital accused the board of overcompensating executives and mishandling the selection of a new CEO. They also called for a review of Disney's studio operations, citing several box office disappointments.

Meanwhile, right-wing activists had raised concerns about Disney's handling of cultural issues, prompting questions about its political contributions and policies for transgender employees.

Despite these challenges, Disney urged shareholders to support the existing board, arguing that any changes could disrupt the company's progress.

Following the victory, Mr. Iger expressed his commitment to focusing on growth, value creation for shareholders, and creative excellence for consumers. The battle, which incurred substantial costs for both sides, ultimately ended in Mr. Iger's favor, garnering support from major shareholders, including notable figures like George Lucas and Laurene Powell Jobs.

While Mr. Peltz expressed disappointment with the outcome, he highlighted the impact of their campaign, which received a last-minute endorsement from Elon Musk. Photo by Clément Bardot, Wikimedia commons.