Founded in 1923, the Walt Disney Company is a wildly successful entertainment and media company with global operations. The parent company and its subsidiaries operate through five major divisions: Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Media Networks, Consumer Products, and Interactive. Disney also operates several major cable television networks, including the Disney Channel, ABC Family, and ESPN. The Parks and Resort division manages domestic and international Disney theme parks, in addition to Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. The Studio Entertainment division produces Disney motion pictures, both live-action and animated.

On March 20. 2019, the company completed its acquisition of fellow entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox in a deal for cash and the issuance of 307 million shares. On August 29, 2019, Disney said it sold the YES Network to Sinclair Broadcasting and Amazon in a $3.47 billion deal. The YES Network broadcasts games, programs, and other content for the Brooklyn Nets, Major League Soccer’s New York City FC, and the WNBA’s New York Liberty. 

Disney reported fiscal Q3 2019 quarterly results on August 6, 2019. The entertainment and media company reported $20.25 billion in revenues during the quarter, compared to $15.23 billion in the same quarter the previous year. As of September 1, 2019, Disney has a market capitalization of $244.94 billion.

Here are the largest individual shareholders of the Walt Disney Company, as of September 1, 2019.

Bob Iger

Chairman and CEO Robert "Bob" Iger took the reins at Disney in 2006. Iger oversaw several key acquisitions for Disney, including that of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, Lucasfilm in 2012, and most recently 21st Century Fox in 2017. Prior to 2006, Iger served as Disney's COO from 2000 until 2005 when he was appointed president and chairman.

While Iger had originally planned to step down from Disney in 2019, he has agreed to stay on until at least 2021 to help integrate the new 21st Century Fox assets.

Iger originally joined Disney's executive team in 1996 as head of ABC Group. He was named one of the "25 Most Powerful People in Business" by Fortune magazine, and rightly so. Iger was rumored to be considering a Presidential bid for 2020, but his agreement to stay with Disney until 2021 may set back his political future by a few years. Robert Iger is Disney's single-largest individual shareholder with 1.078 million shares as of March 20, 2019.

Christine McCarthy

Christine McCarthy obtained the position of senior executive vice president and CFO at the Walt Disney Company in 2015. She is in charge of Disney's finances worldwide and oversees company financial planning, investor relations, tax planning, supply chain management, and corporate real estate. McCarthy also directs Disney's efforts in the area of corporate citizenship.

McCarthy previously served as treasurer and executive vice president of corporate real estate. Before joining Disney in 2000, McCarthy worked at Imperial Bancorp and First Interstate Bancorp. Per McCarthy's most recent filing with the SEC on March 20, 2019, the Disney CFO holds 131,139 DIS shares, making her the company's second-largest individual shareholder.

Key Takeaways

  • While Bob Iger had originally planned to step down from Disney in 2019, he has agreed to stay on until at least 2021 to help integrate the new 21st Century Fox assets.
  • Per Christine McCarthy's most recent filing with the SEC on March 20, 2019, the Disney CFO holds 131,139 DIS shares, making her the company's second-largest individual shareholder.
  • According to recent SEC filings from July 5, 2019, Alan Braverman, the Disney general counsel, holds 98,922 shares of the company.
  • With 86,140 shares of Disney under his belt as of December 31, 2018, Aylwin B. Lewis is the company's fourth-largest individual shareholder.
  • As of December 31, 2017, Robert W. Matschullat is the fifth-largest shareholder of Disney with 71,360 shares of the company.

Alan Braverman

Alan Braverman is the senior executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the Walt Disney Company. Braverman joined Disney in 1996 when the company acquired ABC, Inc., where he served as chief counsel. Braverman assumed his current position in 2003 and directs the company's entire staff of attorneys worldwide. Following a recently-reported sale on July 5, 2019, Braverman, holds 98,922 shares of the company.

Aylwin B. Lewis

The former CEO and President of Potbelly Sandwich Works, Aylwin B. Lewis has been a director of Disney since 2004. Lewis started his career as a manager for a Jack in The Box right out of college but soon graduated to become a regional general manager for KFC. From KFC, Lewis has bounced between executive roles, slowly working his way to the top of YUM Brands as the CEO of Kmart in 2004. When YUM was acquired by Sears, Lewis was named the parent company's new acting president.

In May 2017, Lewis announced that he would be stepping down from Potbelly, although he would continue to serve as a director at Marriott International, World Business Chicago, and several additional small- to mid-size companies. With 86,140 shares of Disney under his belt as of December 31, 2018, Lewis is the company's fourth-largest individual shareholder.

Robert W. Matschullat

Previously the longest-serving member on Disney's board of directors, Robert W. Matschullat was with the company from December 2002 to March 2018, when he left due to a rule that puts term limits at 15 years. Matschullat, retired, was previously a director at Clorox and Chairman of the Board and CFO of The Seagram Company, which went defunct around the time of his departure. He's currently on the boards of Clorox and Visa. According to an SEC filing on December 31, 2017, Matschullat is the fifth-largest shareholder of Disney with 71,360 shares of the company.