BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 02, 2003 – The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors Tuesday elected John S. Chen, chairman, CEO and president of Sybase, Inc., as a new independent director, effective January 2004. “John Chen’s more than two decades of success as a business leader, and his expertise in the field of technology, made him an excellent addition to the Disney board,” said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman and chief executive officer. From a strategic perspective, some of Disney’s most significant long-term growth opportunities reside in the smart use of technology, and John will help the board ensure we’re steering the company in the right direction.” Chen said he was pleased to be invited to join the Disney board, and he is enthusiastic about the company’s initiatives to take advantage of the latest trends in technology to develop content as well as distribute it in new and more efficient ways.
“Disney is at the forefront of the convergence between media and technology, and it is exciting to be able to play a strategic role in that process,” Chen said.
Born in Hong Kong and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Chen, 48, joined Sybase, Inc., as president in 1997, and is credited with engineering that company’s turnaround and sustained growth and profitability. Chen assumed the role of chairman and CEO of Sybase in 1998. He started his career in technology with Unisys Corp., rising to group vice president and general manager. Before joining Sybase, he was president and CEO of a Bay-area division of Siemens Nixdorf Informationsysteme, A.G., which is headquartered in Germany.
Chen graduated Brown University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (with honors), and earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in 1979.