Here's the interesting thing. If Stan and Roy's lawsuit is successful, what happens? Michael Eisner remains CEO for a longer period of time! Also, if the whole form 8-K is voided, they've lost his promise in writing to leave the board after his term ends at the 2006 annual meeting!
Another interesting thing is the four directors not named in the suit. Langhammer (just joined the board in January), Matschullat (reputedly one of the most realistic and open-minded, probably wanted more outside interviewees) and Wilson (long-timer, may have gone either way) aren't huge surprises. The shocker was Bryson who, as chair of the nominating committee, told Roy that he wasn't being renominated, and who was deemed an independent director despite the fact that his wife made $1.35 million per year working for Lifetime (partly owned by Disney), while Stan (whose living-on-her-own daughter made $80,000 working for Disney Consumer Products) was labelled non-independent. (And I won't get into the Edison International Field subject, which I don't recall anybody reporting on.)
At this point, I think that Stan is driving this scorched-earth approach, and it's become more about ego than about the company. In harmony with my story that's going up on the site in the morning, Iger seems to be making the right moves so far. It looks like -- free of Michael's control -- he might actually "get it." He may understand what the company is about, and may be able to do what needs to be done. Why not let him try first? If he's making huge mistakes in his first couple of months, there's still time to run an alternate slate of directors for 2006, which -- if they won -- will allow them to replace Iger.
But I think it's more that Stan's having a Glenn Close "Fatal Attraction" moment. "I will NOT be ignored!" I doubt that the lawsuit will go anywhere.
Face it, Stan. They outfoxed you. Make lemonade.