(MONEY Magazine) – Public companies are increasingly relocating their annual shareholder meetings. Some execs seem to be on the run from disgruntled shareholders; others apparently just want to have fun.
DISNEY: Hartford, Feb. 19
Company's explanation: The insurance capital is a stone's throw from Bristol, headquarters of the company's sports cable franchise, ESPN.
Possible ulterior motive: With weak theme-park attendance and ratings and advertising slumps at ABC, the Mouse House may have been looking to avoid the roar of unhappy owners. Hartford, after all, ain't Orlando.
MORGAN STANLEY: London, March 19
Company's explanation: Some 5,000 employees work at Morgan's London office.
Possible ulterior motive: Profits and shares were down in 2001, so why not get out of the U.S.? (Plus, of course, execs could load up on English dress shirts.)
IBM: Louisville, April 30
Company's explanation: The computer giant chooses a different city every year.
Possible ulterior motive: The Kentucky Derby will be run in Louisville four days later, on May 4. --N.P.