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Michael D. Eisner      

President and CEO, The Tornante Company; Former CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney 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.

Eisner joined The Walt Disney Company as Chairman and CEO in 1984. In twenty-one years at its helm, he revitalized and reinvented Disney into a full spectrum entertainment enterprise. Under his leadership, the company began implementation of a continuing series of creative growth strategies that resulted in its annual revenues rising from $1.7 billion to more than $30 billion. Michael Eisner continues to be an Entertainment Innovator. His investment company Tornante launched Vuguru, a studio producing original programming for the Internet, portable media devices and cellphones.

During his stewardship, Disney animation experienced a renaissance with hits including "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles." Disney also became a leader in live-action films with pictures such as "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Three Men and a Baby," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "Pretty Woman," "Sixth Sense," "Pearl Harbor," "Signs" and "Pirates of the Caribbean"; produced such hit TV shows as "Golden Girls," "Home Improvement," "Lost," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Desperate Housewives"; opened Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Sea and Hong Kong Disneyland; expanded the existing Disney theme parks with The Disney MGM Studios and Disneys Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris and Disney's California Adventure at The Disneyland Resort; opened first class hotels designed by the world's leading architects at all Disney resort sites; acquired Capital Cities/ABC, which included the ABC television network, ESPN cable networks and equity ownership in The History Channel, Lifetime, A&E and E!; launched the SoapNET and Toon Disney cable networks, Radio Disney and ESPN Radio; developed such leading Internet sites as Disney.com, ESPN.com, ABC.com and Family.com; acquired Miramax Pictures, which produced films that won 53 Academy Awards, including best pictures for "Chicago," "Shakespeare in Love," and "The English Patient"; created Walt Disney Theatrical which produced the hits "Beauty and the Beast," "AIDA," "The Lion King" and "Mary Poppins"; developed the Disney Cruise Line and acquired the Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family), "Baby Einstein" and the "Muppets."

Mr. Eisner has been a leader in the entertainment industry for nearly forty years helping to shape this key area of the American economy.

He began his career at ABC, where he ran Daytime and Children's Programs, putting on the air "All My Children," "One Life to Live," the ABC Afterschool Specials and the Scholastic's "School House Rock" series. He rose to Senior Vice President of prime time production and development, taking the network from No. 3 to No. 1 with such landmark shows as "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Barney Miller," "Starsky and Hutch" and "Mod Squad," and co-created the concept of original movies for television (The Movie of the Week) and the Novel and Mini Series form ("Rich Man Poor Man" and "Roots").

In 1977, Mr. Eisner became President of Paramount Pictures leading the studio to number one in box office and profitability with such films as "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Saturday Night Fever," "Grease," "Star Trek," "Reds," "Heaven Can Wait," "Ordinary People," "Flash Dance," "Footloose" and "Terms of Endearment."

A fervent believer in teamwork, Eisner's passion and understanding of strong partnerships inspired his Bestselling Book, "Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed," which he co-authored with Aaron R. Cohen. In this essential book for businesspeople everywhere, Eisner offers us an intimate and deeply personal look at some of the most rewarding business partnerships, uncovering what makes them tick and offering unconventional wisdom and unexpected insights. He shines a light on these startlingly long-lasting and enriching partnerships, weaving together ten separate narratives -- from investment gurus to entertainment impresarios, from fashion designers to big-box retailers -- into a larger story about the true nature of achievement in life and in business.

Eisner is also the author of "Work in Progress," which he co-authored with Tony Schwartz, about his involvement in the entertainment industry; and "Camp," about the life lessons that come from leading a canoe expedition or sitting around a campfire.

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 the California Institute of the Arts, Denison University, American Hospital of Paris Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Yale School of Architecture Dean's Council, the Michael D. Eisner School of Education, the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center, and The Eisner Foundation, a philanthropic organization that he founded and funded, headed by his wife Jane.

Speech Topics


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 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.

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 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 companys bottom line.

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 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.

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. In his presentations on leadership, he shares his insights on what it takes to run a company that must always grow and change.

News


Former Disney CEO to deliver Barrick Lecture at UNLV - Las Vegas ...

Former Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner will talk about successful leadership skills and business partnerships next month during a lecture at UNLV.

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