Disney said the reasoning behind their departures are due to potential conflicts of interest that may arise as media and technology continue to merge.
"Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly hard for them to avoid conflicts relating to Board matters, and they are not standing for re-election", Disney said in a statement. Meanwhile, Facebook is pushing its new Watch video platform, which also contains sports coverage along with several scripted comedy and drama series.
Twitter, for example, streamed several National Football League games on its platform in 2016, and signed a different deal previous year to produce a 30-minute digital show with the network.More news: Exxon Corporation (XOM) Holder Markel Corp Lowered Its Stake by $32.40 Million
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Dorsey's company announced previous year video streaming partnerships with 16 media companies, which included some of Disney's competitors. In September it announced it was allowing its deal with Netflix to lapse so that it could launch its own streaming movie service in 2019.
"Matschullat and Smith will be departing pursuant to company policies that limit board service to 15 years and set the retirement age at 74, respectively", the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Two years ago Disney pursued an acquisition of Twitter, Dorsey's company. The entertainment giant named two members to its board in December, tapping CEOs from the software and biotech industries. Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and Illumina CEO Franis deSouza will join the board next month.