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The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King

1. Teaching Objectives
A. To illustrate many of the basic concepts in corporate strategy, such as synergy, diversification, and resource based view of the firms.

2. Discussion Questions
A. Why has Disney been successful for so long? B. What did Michael Eisner do to rejuvenate Disney? Specifically, how did he increase net income in his first four years? C. Has Disney diversified too far in recent years?

3. Content of Analysis
A. B. C. D. E. What does Disney mean to you? Do parents worry when they take their kids to a Disney movie? Is Disney just for kids? Where does the vision for all of this come from? How does this affect which businesses Disney goes into? Why is Disney in the hotel business? Why does it help to have Disney own and run the hotels? What good is all of this in the hotel business? What happens when you visit the Disney store? What is at the center of this? What is good about having animated cartoon characters at the center of the company? Durable/control Appropriability (It is simple, the Mouse has no agent!-Buffet) Imitation Completely superior (The complexity and scope of Disney operations is hard to replicate/no new entrant can ever recreate the childhood experiences people might have had with Disney) How did Eisner rejuvenate Disney when he arrived in 1984? Both in the short term and the longer term? How did he quintuple net income? Where did the profit improvement come from? Was there one great strategic move that Eisner made for which he deserves to be paid $203M? Does it make sense for Disney to be expanding internationally? What about Euro Disney? Does Disney need to forward integrate into the activities such as cruise line,

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theater on Broadway, Disney stores? etc.? Why doesnt Disney have to backwards integrate into making the toys? M. Disney has expanded into grown up movies under Touchstone and Miramax labels, time shares away from Orlando. It now competes in the record industry, and it does adult publishing. What do these businesses have in common with Disney? N. Did the CapCities ABC merger make sense? Or has Disney gone too far? (Does Disney have a corporate advantage running these businesses? Does it run out of growth potential in the base business and need an acquisition to reach the 20% growth target that Eisner had promised?) O. What is now at the center of Disney that creates value across all the businesses, the way that Mickey and the Cartoon characters did in the old Disney?