Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2001 (Revised January 2009)

Walt Disney Company, The: The Entertainment King

by Michael G. Rukstad, David J. Collis and Tyrell Levine


The first ten pages of this case are comprised of the company's history, from 1923 to 2001. The Walt years are described, as is the company's decline after his death and its resurgence under Eisner. The last five pages are devoted to Eisner's strategic challenges in 2001: managing synergy, managing the brand, and managing creativity. Students are asked to think about the keys to Disney's mid-1980s turnaround, about the proper boundaries of the firm, and about what Disney's strategy should be beyond 2001.

Keywords: History; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Managerial Roles; Creativity; Corporate Strategy; Boundaries; Brands and Branding; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;


Rukstad, Michael G., David J. Collis, and Tyrell Levine. "Walt Disney Company, The: The Entertainment King." Harvard Business School Case 701-035, March 2001. (Revised January 2009.)