There is an elite group of CEOs whose names (first or last) are recognizable by the general public: Welch, Buffett, and Gates are three that immediately come to mind. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner easily fits in amongst his well-known colleagues. During Eisner’s days at Disney he took a company that was on the verge of decline and instituted ambitious changes. The result was a revenue increase from $3 billion to $30 billion. Through his time at Disney, Eisner benefited from working alongside Frank Wells, Disney’s then-president. Of course, Eisner’s ability to work with others faced a challenge during a difficult (and costly) patch with Wells’ successor Michael Ovitz.
In this interesting interview with Canadian Business magazine, Eisner candidly discusses the ups and downs of partnerships. I found that this piece clearly displays Eisner’s confidence in his decision-making. Take a look at how he answers a question about whether or not he and Wells ever decided to “just go for it” with an idea. Eisner begins to point out the problems Disney experienced with attempting to launch the theme park Euro Disney, but he rounds out his answer by reminding the interviewer that it’s (according to Eisner) now the biggest attraction in Europe.
The interview discusses Eisner’s new book Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed. Eisner examines some of the most successful partnerships from a variety of industries, including Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, among others.