Boyle played on the stereotype of CEOs being greedy and uncaring by promoting GothCorp as "The People Company". Through putting employees and customers before his own wellbeing, Boyle had built a very good business reputation. He was even nominated for Gotham City's Humanitarian Industrialist of the Year.
It was, however, all an act: underneath, Boyle was as greedy, ruthless, and coldhearted as any of those "hardboiled businessmen" he claimed to have distanced himself from. Boyle confided that in a meeting with Bruce Wayne, said that they were both businessmen and that there was a difference between what they did and what the public expected. A year before his nomination, Boyle became infuriated when Dr. Victor Fries, a GothCorp scientist, used company equipment without authorization, and also put Boyle into debt. Boyle confronted Fries in his lab with two security guards and ordered him to shut down his unauthorized "project". Fries pleaded that the "project" was actually a stasis tube that prevented his terminally ill wife, Nora Fries, from dying, and that shutting it off would kill her. Boyle was not moved in the slightest, and ordered his guards to disconnect the equipment. In desperation, Fries seized a gun and ordered them to stay back. Boyle, who exercised some of his old charm, appealed to Fries to be reasonable, and promised that they could work things out without violence—which caused Fries to lower the gun, just long enough for Boyle to kick him in the chest and sent him crashing backwards into a table of unstable chemicals. Boyle and his guards fled the scene, and presumed that Fries and his wife had both died. He gave a mental shrug, and went on with the business of running his company.
In fact, Fries had survived, though his body chemistry was radically altered. After he believed that Nora was dead, Fries began a campaign of vengeance against GothCorp and Boyle, which culminated on an attack on the building where Boyle accepted his humanitarian award. Boyle was shocked to recognize his assailant as the presumed—dead Victor Fries. Boyle was reduced to begging for his life as Freeze slowly froze him in ice from the feet up with his Freeze Gun, until Batman arrived and subdued Freeze. After he saved Boyle, Batman then handed over to Summer Gleeson a videotape of the tragic accident, and didn't bother to free Boyle from the ice, simply bidding him good night while sarcastically calling him a humanitarian out of disgust.
What happened to Boyle after being encrusted in the ice was never revealed. Although the tape was incontrovertible proof of Boyle's crimes and was enough to ruin his business reputation, it may not have been evidence to prepare criminal charges against him, given that Batman had improperly seized the evidence by outright stealing the tape.
Ferris Boyle was Mark Hamill's first ever voice role for Batman: The Animated Series (and thus, for the DCAU). He based his portrayal on Phil Hartman (also a voice actor), who had been known for smarmy, self-righteous characters in comedy films and Saturday Night Live. Hamill had originally tried to voice Mr. Freeze, eager to play a lesser profile villain from Batman's rogue's gallery, but Michael Ansara had already been cast for that role.
However, Hamill's performance as the slimy Boyle tremendously impressed the creators of the series. When Tim Curry dropped out for the role of The Joker, Hamill was one of their first choices to replace him, and was asked if he would like to audition.
Boyle did not appear again in the animated series. He did appear in deleted material that was meant for issue 15 of the comic book, Batman Adventures, in which he was killed by a robotic doppelganger of Freeze that was made by Nora's new husband, Francis D'Anjou, in order to frame Victor.