Michael Eisner

Executive, Clerk, Page
Former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner received the lion's share of the credit when he reversed the company's declining fortunes in the mid-1980s, although charges of a lack of vision and an isolationist ... Read more »
Born: 03/07/1942 in Mount Kisco, New York, USA


Actor (19)

A Single Shot 2013 (Movie)

Levi Dean (Actor)

Waking Sleeping Beauty 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Transcendent Man 2008 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Sketches of Frank Gehry 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Leaders With David Faber 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)


The 2nd Annual Family Television Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Home Improvement 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)


American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


Fourth Annual Environmental Media Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


The 10th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


The Best of Disney: 50 Years of Magic 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


The Magical World of Disney (10/09/88) 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)


The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)


Polly (TV Show)


The Pixar Story (TV Show)

Producer (1)

Glenn Martin, DDS 1998 - 1999, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer


Former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner received the lion's share of the credit when he reversed the company's declining fortunes in the mid-1980s, although charges of a lack of vision and an isolationist management style later led to his humiliating, forced departure in 2005. Beginning his career at the big three networks - NBC, CBS, and ABC, respectively - Eisner followed former boss Barry Diller over to Paramount Pictures in 1976. During his time as the studio's president and CEO, he oversaw an impressive string of hit films that included "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), and "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984). After Diller's departure, Eisner felt he had hit the career ceiling at Paramount and began courting Disney for a position, ultimately consummating the relationship when he was named chairman and CEO in 1984. Under Eisner's stewardship the company experienced a startling transformation, beginning with its reemergence as the leader in animated feature films with the release of "The Little Mermaid" (1989). With studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, he made Disney's live-action film company, Touchstone Pictures, a force to be reckoned with at the box office. Major acquisitions, such as that of independent studio Miramax, sports cable channel ESPN, and major network ABC all added to the company's expanding fortunes. There were, however, several missteps along the way, including the Euro Disney debacle, and the highly publicized, litigious departures of Katzenberg and Michael Ovitz. These unflattering events, combined with charges of mismanagement by the late Walt Disney's nephew, Roy E. Disney, eventually led to shareholders forcing Eisner out of the company in 2005. Never known to shrink from a challenge or fail to create opportunities for himself, Eisner rebounded by forming his own investment company, hosting his own talk show, and developing a comedy series for television, making it clear that, to paraphrase the immortal Mark Twain - rumors of his (entrepreneurial) death had been greatly exaggerated.


Margot Freedman


Jane Eisner

born c. 1943 married in 1967

Lester Eisner

administer of the Department of Housing and Urban Development died in 1987

Margaret Eisner

co-founder of the American Safety Razor Company president of a medical research institute died on July 31, 1996

Anders Eisner

born c. 1979

Eric Eisner

born c. 1974 launched Internet site Romp.com

Michael Eisner

born c. 1970

Sigmund Eisner

emigrated from Bohemia made uniforms for the Boy Scouts and the military during WWI and WWII


Denison University

Granville , Ohio 1964

Lawrenceville School

Lawrenceville , New Jersey



Will host an own hour-long, prime-time interview show, "Conversations with Michael Eisner" (CNBC)


Announced that he would step down as CEO one year before his contract expired; Eisner resigned both as an executive and as a member of the board of directors, and, severed all formal ties with the company


Hosted "The Charlie Rose Show," (PBS) with guests John Travolta and ex-boss-turned-rival, Barry Diller


Disney's shareholders, rallied by former board members Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, voted to oppose the reelection of Eisner to the corporate board of directors


Roy Edward Disney (the son of co-founder Roy Oliver Disney) resigned from his positions as Disney vice chairman and chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation, accusing Eisner of poor management


Signed 10-year contract with Disney; his salary was frozen at $750,000, but was awarded stock options


Accepted the resignation of Disney TV chief Richard Frank


Reclaimed the license for the Winnie the Pooh line of characters from Sears, Roebuck


Underwent an emergency quadruple bypass heart surgury in July


Announced that he would be taking over responsibilities at Disney as president


Disney president and COO Frank Wells killed in a Nevada helicopter crash on April 3


Accepted the resignation of Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg after reportedly refusing to give him Wells' job


Began hosting "The Magical World of Disney"


Signed a letter of intent in December confirming the company's plans for a Disneyland in France


Left Paramount to join Disney as chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Productions


Rose to senior vice president, primetime production and development, ABC Entertainment


Followed Barry Diller to Paramount Pictures; become president and COO


Named vice president, program planning and development, ABC


Became vice president, primetime series television, ABC


Named vice president for primetime program development/productions for ABC


Became vice president for program development and children's specials for ABC


Named vice president of daytime programming, ABC


Named manager of specials and talent, ABC


In December, became director of program development, East Coast, ABC


Joined ABC's children's programming department


Hired as a clerk at NBC after graduation


Employed as page at NBC

Served as assistant to VP & national program director

Began association with Barry Diller, then in charge of acquiring films for ABC

Grew up on Manhattan's Park Avenue in NYC; spent weekends and summers in Bedford Hills, an exclusive suburb in Westchester County

Hit films produced under his tenure included "Saturday Night Fever", "Grease", "Raiders of the the Lost Ark", "Terms of Endearment" and "An Officer and a Gentleman"

Began his career in programming at CBS; worked on children's programming

Bonus Trivia


In 1985, his first full year at Disney, Eisner earned $2,120,000 in salary and bonuses; in 1986 he earned $2,600,000, only $750,000 of which was in salary. His 1989 income was $9,589,360. According to The New York Times (August 1, 1995): "In fiscal 1994 he made about $10.6 million in salary, bonuses and restricted stock awards. The previous year, he received no bonus but exercised stock options valued at $202 million and sold them for a profit of $127 million."


Eisner received the IRTS Gold Medal Award in 1992.


From Cindy Adams'column in the New York Post (August 7, 1995): "Disney's buyout of ABC really began 41 years ago.""In 1954 ABC and Disney made a deal for "The Wonderful World of Color", later renamed "The Wonderful World of Disney". The weekly show ran seven years. So successful was it that Robert Kitner, the network's then head honcho, took Walt Disney aside and said 'This is so great that . . . who knows . . . if things work out well, you may own this company someday.'"And Walt said: 'I like that idea. Let's go for it.'"


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