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Disney fires Marvel Chief Ike Perlmutter after Peltz fight

Walt Disney Co. terminated the employment of Ike Perlmutter, the chairman of its Marvel Entertainment unit, as part of a broader cost-cutting effort.

The executive was let go along with others in the unit, which handled comic-book sales and related consumers products, according to the New York Times, which reported on the changes earlier Wednesday.

Perlmutter was the chief executive officer and the largest shareholder of Marvel when Disney acquired the company for about $4 billion in 2009. He often clashed with other executives internally, and in 2015 CEO Bob Iger took responsibility for Marvel’s super-successful film studio away from Perlmutter.

The 80-year-old executive played a key role in the recent proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz, who was seeking a board seat at Disney. Perlmutter advocated for Peltz to be added to the board and brokered meetings with Disney management, the company said. Peltz dropped the effort after declaring the changes Iger was making aligned with his thinking.

Iger told CNBC in February that he had promised Perlmutter he could continue to run Marvel after its acquisition but that the businessman was still upset about losing power over the film unit.

“He was not happy about it,” Iger said. “And I think that unhappiness exists today.”

The termination of Perlmutter and his unit are part of a larger $5.5 billion savings drive that is expected to see 7,000 job cuts. Bloomberg

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