Michael Eisner

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  • Iconic Business Leader, Entertainment Innovator, and Entrepreneur
  • Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company (1984-2005)
  • Founder & CEO, The Tornante Company

Michael Eisner teaches audiences how to develop corporate creativity and strategically invest in innovation, based on his experiences as CEO of Disney and as Founder of The Tornante Company, a fund to invest in and develop companies in the media and entertainment sector. Both Fortune 500 CEO and entrepreneur, Mr. Eisner knows that even large global companies can innovate and adapt to new markets, new economies and new technologies. Through his remarks, he not only inspires corporate innovation, he gives parameters for successful execution such as brand building, establishing strategic partnerships and employee work teams.

Under the leadership of Michael Eisner, Walt Disney Company revenues grew from $1.7 billion to more than $170 billion by focusing on the power of ideas, pursuing the innovative vision, and taking creative risks. As a leader in the media industry for four decades, Mr. Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.

 

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Rave Reviews About Michael Eisner
Mr. Eisner was a hit at the Realtors Conference & Expo! In fact, based on feedback after the session, he is one of the best we’ve had in many years. The audience especially liked his perspectives on ‘creativity in a box.’ They also loved that he customized his speech with the Seize the Day theme.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Michael Eisner
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Realtors
  • Nu Skin International
  • Hispanic Trends Magazine
  • FSA
  • SAP
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Kutztown University
  • International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association
Michael Eisner in conversation with Keith Ferrazzi | Drucker Business Forum [59:51] - Get Sharable Link
Michael Eisner in conversation with Keith Ferrazzi | Drucker Business Forum [59:51]
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Michael Eisner - Discussing Leadership and Successful Decision Making
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Explore Michael Eisner's Talks
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The Creative Economy

Which companies will thrive in the coming years? Those that value thinking outside the box above all else. Eisner's career has revolved around managing businesses in which more than 80 percent of their products must be new every year. In this insightful and compelling speech, Eisner discusses the im ...

Which companies will thrive in the coming years? Those that value thinking outside the box above all else. Eisner's career has revolved around managing businesses in which more than 80 percent of their products must be new every year. In this insightful and compelling speech, Eisner discusses the importance of generating fresh ideas while enhancing and protecting your brand. He also shows audiences how an intangible asset like creativity can make a dramatic impact on any company’s bottom line.

Leadership: Succeeding by Failing and Other Paradoxes

As a leader in the media industry for nearly four decades, Michael Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business, and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. ...

As a leader in the media industry for nearly four decades, Michael Eisner has overseen organizations recognized for their inventiveness and innovation, experienced an explosion of technological advances that have impacted his business, and led his companies through the advent of the next big ideas. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.

Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed

Every great institution needs a partnership to really achieve greatness. In Working Together, Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and entertainment biz veteran, takes an inside look at some of the most successful business partnerships and what makes them tick. In business there are always unique indiv ...

Every great institution needs a partnership to really achieve greatness. In Working Together, Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and entertainment biz veteran, takes an inside look at some of the most successful business partnerships and what makes them tick. In business there are always unique individual achievers, but pull down the veil and you’ll often find someone alongside them. Eisner does just that, using his own successful collaboration with Frank Wells at Disney as a launching point for examining other famously successful and rewarding partnerships; for example, those of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ron Howard and Brain Grazer, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, or Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, among others. Working Together offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes stories and insights from Eisner’s in depth interviews with these partners: tried-and-true wisdom as well as the unexpected, and plenty about what works in business and what doesn’t work.

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Leveraging Technology to Get Your Message Heard

Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented his printing press in 1450, there has been an accelerating proliferation of communication platforms – from books to newspapers to magazines to movies to radio to television to the internet. And, with the development of each new platform, the conventional ...

Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented his printing press in 1450, there has been an accelerating proliferation of communication platforms – from books to newspapers to magazines to movies to radio to television to the internet. And, with the development of each new platform, the conventional wisdom has invariably determined that all prior media outlets have become obsolete. Eisner exposes how unwise the conventional wisdom tends to be, and offers insights on how to leverage all media technologies – old, new, and yet to come – in order to effectively get your message heard.

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<p>Michael Eisner Predicts the Future</p>

Michael Eisner Predicts the Future

In this engaging interview with Vanity Fair, iconic business leader MICHAEL EISNER speaks candidly about the future of the entertainment business and how he picks everything from companies and collaborators to his presidential candidates. 

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<p>Eisner Engages 3,500+ Crowd with Iconic Business/Innovation Lessons</p>

Eisner Engages 3,500+ Crowd with Iconic Business/Innovation Lessons

Iconic business leader, entertainment innovator, and entrepreneur MICHAEL EISNER spoke to a sell-out crowd at the Ringling Town Hall in Sarasota, Florida on January 19th. Eisner's insights covered partnerships and the importance of finding the right business partners; fostering a business which promotes creativity and innovation while considering the bottom line; and allowing room for people and ideas to fail. Eisner's company, Torrante, is creating a lot of content for Netflix and this drove an engaging conversation about the future of entertainment.  He is truly a CEO who not only talks the talk, but he continues to walk the walk.

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<p>MichaelEisner.com</p>

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Biography

Michael D. Eisner

For four decades, Michael Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry.  He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in primetime, daytime and children’s television with such landmark shows as Happy Days, Barney Miller, Rich Man, Poor Man, and Roots.  In 1976, he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Terms of Endearment and Ordinary People. This string of critically acclaimed and blockbuster films led the studio to become number one in box office and profitability in both theatrical movies and network television production.

In 1984 Michael assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing 21 years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire now valued at over $170 billion. To achieve this remarkable long-term growth, he revitalized Disney animation, transformed the studio into a film and television powerhouse, dramatically grew the theme parks in the U.S. and internationally, entered Disney into the destination resort business, and made the company a leader in sports by developing ESPN into a major television presence, acquiring the Anaheim Angels Major League Baseball team and creating the Mighty Ducks National Hockey League team.

For almost thirty years, companies that Eisner managed were either number one or number two at the motion picture box office.

In 2005, Michael began the “next act” of his career, by founding The Tornante Company, a privately held company that invests in, acquires, and operates companies in media and entertainment. 

In October 2007, Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners acquired The Topps Company, a leading creator and marketer of sports cards, distinctive confectionery, and other entertaining products for well over 50 years. Under Michael’s vision and leadership, the iconic company is transforming into a global sports media brand with relationships covering MLB, UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, IPL, WWE, Star Wars, Facebook and Netflix.  It launched a digital division, featuring some of the top grossing sports apps, and has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Milton Keynes, Germany, India, Brazil and Argentina.

Through Tornante, Michael also founded Tornante TV. In 2013, Netflix licensed the distribution rights to animated comedy “BoJack Horseman” from Tornante, making this the first animated original series for adults to appear on the streamer. The company’s second series on Netflix, “Tuca & Bertie” will launch in 2019. In 2018, Tornante agreed to license distribution rights to the rotoscope-animated show “Undone” to Amazon, making it the first animated original series for adults to appear on Amazon Prime. “NOS4A2”, Tornante’s first live action TV show which will air on AMC, will begin production in mid-2018. Previously, Viacom’s Nick at Nite licensed distribution rights to “Glenn Martin, D.D.S.”.

In 2017, Tornante acquired Portsmouth FC, a football / soccer club in the south of England.  While the team had fallen upon hard times for the decade before the acquisition, Tornante has now begun to rebuild and enhance the historic Club, which it hopes to bring back to its former glory.  In 2018 the Club announced Nike as a kit supplier, redesigned its crest, and announced The University of Portsmouth as the front-of-kit supplier.

Additional companies within the Tornante portfolio include Clique Media, Omaze, LittlStar, and Metaverse.

 

Michael is the author of Work in Progress, about his involvement in the entertainment industry, as well as Camp, about the life lessons learned during his formative years at Keewaydin summer camp in Vermont. Michael’s third book, WORKING TOGETHER:  Why Great Partnerships Succeed, profiles several successful partnerships in the business world and beyond, including Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, and many more. The book was published by HarperCollins in September 2010.

The Eisner Foundation was started in 1996 by Michael D. Eisner and his wife Jane in order to focus their family’s philanthropic activities. In 2015, The Eisner Foundation became the only U.S. funder investing exclusively in intergenerational solutions, and today, the foundation identifies, advocates for, and invests in high-quality and innovative programs that unite multiple generations for the enrichment of Los Angeles communities. 

Born March 7, 1942 in New York, Michael graduated from Lawrenceville School in 1960 and Denison University in 1964 with a B.A. in English literature and theater. He serves on the boards of IAC, American Hospital of Paris Foundation, the Aspen Institute, Denison University, The Yale School of Architecture Dean's Council, and The Eisner Foundation.  His philanthropic support has led to the creation of Eisner Health, a federally qualified health center, that provides medical and dental services to low-income individuals and families, The Michael D. Eisner School of Education at California State University, Northridge, and The Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts at Denison University, opening in 2019, which will be home to the departments of music, dance and theatre.

He and Jane have three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders and three daughters-in-law, Georgia, Stacey, and Terena plus nine grandchildren Noah, Eloise, Grace, Easton, Scarlet, Michael Patrick, Rose Jane, Athena Belle, and James Thomas.