Walt Disney Co. dissident directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold Monday said the board should force CEO Michael Eisner to leave the company by the annual meeting early next year and engage an independent firm to find a replacement.
Gold and Disney, in an open letter to the board of directors, said they would run their own slate of directors at next year's annual meeting if the board did not engage a search firm and commit to Eisner stepping down as CEO and as a director when the search ended.
Eisner Friday said he would step down as chief executive when his contract ends in September 2006, but he has not commented on whether he would keep his board seat or consider becoming chairman.
Eisner was stripped of his role as chairman in March after 43 percent of shareholders voted against him. Roy Disney, the nephew of the company's founder, and Gold had played a lead role in pressing for Eisner's removal.
Gold and Disney on Monday said that a two-year transition period would be "catastrophic" for the company and that major candidates would not want the job if Eisner were to become chairman again.