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Bob Iger will depart as Disney CEO in 2015

In an announcement that seems a bit out of the blue, CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger announced he will step down from that role in 2015 and leave the company entirely in 2016. At that point Iger will have been CEO for just about 10 years and be just 63 years old. He’s a very young looking 60 today.

Iger has always played coy with how long he’ll serve as CEO at Disney. He never committed to a long run at the top. This move had to come eventually, but I expected him to stay at least until he was 65. Iger has been well compensated during his time at Disney, so if he wants to step down and have some time with his family enjoying that fortune, more power to him, I say.

This does leave he question of succession. 3.5 years is a long time to groom a replacement in corporate terms, it should allow for the designated person to really get their feet wet before having to assume the throne. Leading candidates at the moment are Jay Rasulo and Tom Staggs who recently swapped roles of CFO and Disney Parks division chief to give them each wider exposure within the company. As great as I think Staggs would be as CEO of Disney, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another candidate rise to the top from the film or television side in the next year and a half. My pick would be Anne Sweeney.

What do you think of this news? Have you been satisfied with Bob Iger’s regime at the mouse house?

More at ABC News.