Walt Disney Productions announced Tuesday that Michael L. Bagnall, executive vice president-finance and a key player during the Burbank company’s yearlong wrangle with unwanted suitors, has decided to take early retirement and will leave the company sometime in the fall.

Disney said Bagnall, 54, will continue in his role as chief financial officer through the summer and for “an indefinite period thereafter.” Following his retirement, Bagnall will serve as a consultant to the firm.

A company spokesman called Bagnall an important participant in developing strategies for Disney’s fight against a hostile takeover bid last year.

In a joint statement, Michael D. Eisner, Disney’s chairman and chief executive since last September, and Frank G. Wells, president and chief operating officer, called Bagnall “one of Disney’s most untiring workers” who has “our highest respect.” They said: “We are gratified that he will stay on” during the search for his successor.


The spokesman said Bagnall, who joined Disney in 1962, had planned to take early retirement for some time and will be devoting more time to United Systems Co., a Tustin high-technology firm where he is chairman and his son, Patrick Bagnall, is a principal.

Dean S. Ferris will be joining 20th Century Fox as senior vice president-employee relations; Ferris has been vice president-employee relations at Paramount Pictures since 1977.


John C. Duncan, saying that he will assume the chairmanship of a new company, Cyprus Minerals, has resigned as a director of Fluor Corp. in Irvine.


Cetus Corp., an Emeryville-based biotechnology company, said Hollings C. Renton has been appointed executive vice president and Behzad Khosrovi has been promoted to vice president-development.


As part of its continuing reorganization, USG Corp. has named presidents for three of its eight operating subsidiaries: Eugene B. Connolly has been elected president and chief operating officer of United States Gypsum Co., A.J. Falvo Jr. has been elected president and chief operating officer of Masonite Corp. and Roy E. Schneider takes the two titles at USG Acoustical Products Co.