BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ The Walt Disney Co. will ask shareholders to elect board members annually rather than every three years, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The company has been negotiating for over a year with some of its big institutional stockholders and agreed to the change several weeks ago, said John Dreyer. Disney plans to ask shareholder approval of the new procedure at its 1998 annual meeting.

Some investors have complained that the board isn't responsive enough under the current arrangement. The Communications Workers of America Pension Plan in August filed a proposal urging changes.

CWA president Morton Bahr, in a press release from Washington, called the action ``a victory for all shareholders.''