Disney shareholders: The happiest on Earth?

So, Walt Disney Co. chairman George Mitchell, the ex-senator who knows tons about how to make peace in Northern Ireland but far, far less about corporate governance, has survived – for now.

But Mouse CEO Robert Iger says “a succession plan” is being discussed, meaning that Mitchell will likely not see another Disney shareholder’s meeting.

As Bloomberg notes, there is already considerable institutional shareholder opposition, to say nothing of Disney’s own corporate governance code:

“We’ve never thought that Mitchell was an appropriate chairman for the company and that’s all the more true since he’s passed the retirement age,” said Glass Lewis CEO Greg Taxin. Mitchell’s been an “impediment to good governance.” In December, the board unanimously voted to have Mitchell remain through 2006 to facilitate the transition after his successor is named even though Disney rules say directors should retire after age 72.

Also of note: Iger again promised to hit double digit growth already forecasted for Disney’s earnings per share. For his sake, I hope the Pixar stock deal closes smoothly, because relying on DVD re-releases of “Lady and the Tramp” (a two disc set, natch; how much canine canoodling can one take, even if one is a six year old?) ain’t gonna cut it.