Like tributaries flowing into the Delaware River, various streams of anti-Michael Eisner sentiment will be converging in Philadelphia this weekend.

In a major turnabout from just a few months ago, it's possible that these forces will gather enough strength to tear Eisner from his chairman and CEO perches atop Disney ( DIS). But like any Hollywood executive who has climbed to the top and stayed there, Eisner will be no pushover.

On one hand, anti-Eisner sentiment has grown steadily. A herd of institutional investors has announced plans to withhold votes for Chairman Eisner and other directors at Wednesday morning's shareholder meeting. Public criticism of Eisner has mounted as well, underscoring such matters as management's reaction to an acquisition offer by cable colossus Comcast ( CMCSA) and Eisner's role in Hollywood agent Mike Ovitz's unproductive and costly tenure as president in the mid-1990s.

On the other hand, Eisner enjoys an incumbent's advantage, including the apparent support of the board. Disney has already started managing expectations on the shareholder vote, perhaps seeking to diffuse the impact of a large block of votes against Eisner in the official count next week. In fact, Eisner can use the multifaceted nature of the criticism he faces to his advantage: Rather than interpreting anti-Eisner votes as a specific order to vacate the premises -- as disgruntled former directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold might see it -- Eisner could characterize the ballots as a mandate to improve corporate governance, a task that he and the board say they've already begun.

For Eisner to stay, says an institutional Disney shareholder who spoke on condition of anonymity, he will soon have to show "how he has a plan and how he's going to implement the plan to improve the performance of the Disney Company."

Oddly enough, Philly's best-known Eisner antagonist won't be around next week. The convention center where Disney's shareholder meeting is set to start Wednesday is only three blocks away from the headquarters of Comcast, which announced an unsolicited bid valued at $48 billion, excluding debt, for Disney last month. Disney -- which for several years has been holding its annual meeting in different cities -- picked Philadelphia for this year's meeting well before that Comcast bid surfaced.

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