Disney didn't announce a replacement and said it doesn't plan to fill thepost in the near future. The announcement was issued after the closing ofThursday's stock market.
For months, reports have circulated of a rift bewteen Mr. Ovitz and his boss,Disney CEO Michael Eisner, and of his dissatisfaction with his role withinthe company. He had wanted the long-vacant post of chief operating officerbut Mr. Eisner never gave it to him. In a statement, Mr. Ovitz said: "It isimportant to recognize when something is not working. I hope that my decisionto leave will eliminate an unnecessary distraction for a great company."
Mr. Ovitz, formerly the head of Creative Artists Agency, is reportedly beingpursued by Sony Corp. for a high-ranking post, although Sony denies that ithas been wooing the Disney exec.
Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.