Michael Dammann Eisner (born March 7, 1942)  is an American businessman  and former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company from September 1984 to September 2005.
For four decades, Michael Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, overseeing shows including Happy Days, Barney Miller, and Roots. He became president of Paramount Pictures in 1976, turning out hit films including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease.
In 1984 Michael assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing 21 years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion.
- Early Life and Education
- Television and Movies
- Notable Accomplishments
- Published Works
- The Bottom Line
Michael Eisner was born on March 7, 1942, in Mount Kisco, NY. He grew up in an affluent family in Manhattan and attended The Lawrenceville School, a private boarding school in New Jersey. In 1964, Eisner graduated from Denison University in Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in English. His early work in the entertainment industry included positions in ...
In 1966, Michael Eisner found a mentor in entertainment executive Barry Diller, who hired Eisner as assistant to the national programming director at ABC. Eisner would eventually become vice president for daytime programming in 1971 and senior vice president for prime time production and development in 1976. That same year, Eisner followed Diller t...
In 1984, Michael Eisner assumed the position of chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and quickly hired Jeffrey Katzenberg to head the motion picture division. From 1984 until Katzenberg's resignation in 1994, the pair transformed Disney from a struggling media giant into a powerhouse that would dominate the film industry with blockbusters like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, whichbecame the first animated film nominated for a Best Picture Academy...
In 1994, following the death of then Disney president, Frank Wells, Jeffrey Katzenberg lobbied for Wells' position. When Eisner declined to promote him, Katzenberg resigned and Michael Ovitz was selected. Ovitz would also later resign due to growing turmoil within the company. After years of success, Eisner became embroiled in monetary lawsuits involving both Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Ovitz. In 2004, Roy Disney, nephew of the company’s founder, resigned his board seat and launched the "S...
Michael Eisner was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2012. His leadership at both ABC and Paramount lead to legendary television shows such as Family Ties and Entertainment Tonight. Eisner's later move to The Walt Disney Company transformed Disney from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a glo...
Michael Eisner has authored three books: Work in Progress (1998; with Tony Schwartz), Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed (2010; with Aaron Cohen), and Camp.
Michael Eisner is viewed as one of the most influential leaders in the entertainment industry who created a blueprint for television and movie success. His ability to formulate long-term goals and create successful teams helped catapult each of the companies he lead to unprecedented accomplishments.
- Julia Kagan
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- Early Life
- ABC and Paramount
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Eisner was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and raised on Park Avenue in Manhattan. He attended the Allen-Stevenson School followed by the Lawrenceville School and graduated from Denison University in 1964 with a B.A. in English. He is a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. His great-grandfather, Sigmund Eisner, was one of the first uniform suppli...
After two brief stints at NBC and CBS, Barry Diller at ABC hired Eisner as Assistant to the National Programming Director. Eisner moved up the ranks, eventually becoming a senior vice president in charge of programming and development. In 1976, Diller, who had by then moved on to become chairman of Paramount Pictures, recruited Eisner from ABC and ...
Walt Disney Productions had been struggling since its founder's death in 1966, and had narrowly survived takeover attempts by corporate raiders when its shareholders Sid Bass and Roy E. Disney brought on Eisner and former Warner Brothers chief Frank Wells to replace Ron W. Millerin 1984 and turn the company around. Since the passing of the Disney b...
On October 7, 2005, Eisner hosted The Charlie Rose Show, filling in for Rose. His guests were John Travolta and his ex-boss, Barry Diller. Impressed with Eisner's performance, CNBC President Mark Hoffman hired Eisner in early 2006 to host his own talk show, Conversations with Michael Eisner. The show mostly features CEOs, political leaders, artists...Work In Progress (1998) (ISBN 0-375-50071-5)Camp (2005) (ISBN 978-0446533690)"I always went into an area that was in last place, with a philosophy, 'You can't fall off the floor.' And I was lucky, was at the right time and the right place, with the right ideas, and each one..."You can't succeed unless you've got failure, especially creatively.""Diversity is a great force towards creativity."Official site MichaelEisner.comMichael Eisner on IMDbCNBC show official site with videos and transcripts Conversations with Michael Eisner
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