Roy E. Disney
Net Worth: $1 billion
Source of Wealth: Stock, investments, real estate
Residence: Los Angeles
He has been a film editor, a producer and a writer. Who better to help mastermind the transformation of the once-sleepy Walt Disney Co. into a global giant?
Fed up with the way the slumping studio was being run, Disney, nephew of founder Walt Disney, briefly resigned from the board in the early 1980s. But later, he teamed up with the Bass family of Texas to take over the studio and oust Disney President Ronald W. Miller. Roy Disney was also instrumental in the 1984 hiring of Michael Eisner.
Before agreeing to consider Eisner for the post, Disney reportedly insisted on two conditions: that the new CEO not break up the company (which had been a threat during much of the '80s), and that he return to making animated films. As vice chairman, Disney oversees the rejuvenated animation department from an office on the Disney lot (though his other ventures keep him offsite and often out of the country much of the year).
Last year, Disney sold 1.2 million shares Disney stock or about one-sixth of his stake in the company for more than $100 million. The move was done for estate planning purposes, according to Stanley P. Gold, a Disney board member and financial advisor to the Disney family.
Disney invests in real estate and radio stations through his investment company Shamrock Holdings. Shamrock is the prime mover in the soon-to-be built Manhattan Beach Studios in Manhattan Beach, which will include 14 sound stages.
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