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.
I’ve had this feeling over the last week that Iger was getting ready to step down. Something about his actions over the past few months just seems like he’s been getting his ducks in order.
Personally I’d like to see them bring someone from outside the company as new CEO. Possibly someone from the Marvel or Pixar side of the family would be interesting. As for Jay Rasulo or Tom Staggs. Please god no.
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This article from Deadline puts things in a little better perspective. Iger is actually EXTENDED till 2015 as his deal was only through 2013. Plus he will now be Chairman, combining the roles of CEO and Chairman for the first time since the dramatic shareholder meeting of 2003 where Eisner lost the Chairman position. Speaking of Micheal… Probably not a coincidence that Iger is shoring up his control of the board now that his best supporter and largest shareholder has sadly passed away…
I don’t think there was any doubt about his being extended. The real story is that he will step down at that point and a succession plan is in place.
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Maybe they’ll give it to Conan O’Brien – then take it away again a short time later ;)
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