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Disney Fires 25 Angels Employees

May 16, 1996

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ About 25 California Angels employeees were fired after the team signed an agreement giving Walt Disney Co. 25 percent ownership and control of the team’s operations.

The team’s chief financial officer Ron Shirley was among those let go Wednesday as Angels owner Gene Autry and executive vice president Jackie Autry went to Burbank to make the deal with Disney officials, the Orange County Register reported.

Also fired were vice president of marketing Joe Schrier, vice president of civic affairs Tom Seeberg and vice president of media relations John Sevano.

Shirley knew his job was on the line, so he wasn’t surprised when he was replaced by an employee of the NHL’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

``I tried to make it quick so the emotions wouldn’t have time to come to the forefront,″ Shirley told the Register.

Disney kept three of nine company officers, excluding Jackie Autry.

Disney officials said they tried to be thorough and fair.

``I’ve seen people act like the Gestapo and stand over (employees) ... we want to treat everyone like an individual,″ said Tony Tavares, who replaced Richard Brown as president of the Angels.

The company formally takes over the team’s daily operations Oct. 1. Disney officials will interview ushers, ticket takers and other employees in the coming months.

Disney has the option to take over complete ownership of the team after the death of Gene Autry, who is 88.

Starting in the 1997 season, the team will become the Anaheim Angels.

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