In a move that everyone expected, Bob Iger’s contract with the Disney Company has been extended by one year, through July 2, 2019. There’s no doubt that shareholders benefit from this news. Bob has led the Disney Company to unprecedented growth in the 11 years he has served as CEO. During that time, the company has reported a total shareholder return of 448% compared to the 144% for the S&P 500.
So, what’s the news in all this? Well, Mr. Iger was originally supposed to step down in 2016. A succession plan was put into place grooming Jay Rasulo (who was head of Parks and Resorts) and Tom Staggs (who was CFO) to compete for the top spot upon Iger’s departure. The two top executives were then swapped, with Rasulo moving to the CFO position and Staggs moving to the Parks and Resorts head position. Eventually, Staggs was tapped to become COO, which was a clear sign that he was selected as the heir apparent and Rasulo resigned from the company. If Staggs had worked out, Iger would likely already be gone, but that’s not the case. In a shocking turn of events, Tom Staggs “resigned” from the company suddenly when the Disney Board of Directors made it clear that they weren’t comfortable with Staggs in the CEO spot.
Since Tom Staggs’ departure in 2016, it isn’t clear that Disney has made any progress toward defining a succession plan for Bob Iger. At this point, it is likely that a successor may come from outside the company or even from the Board of Directors itself. While all of this would send the stock price of lessor companies into a tail spin, Disney investors are likely thrilled that they’ll continue to enjoy strong share prices for as long as Iger (who has been toying with a post Disney political career) can be convinced to stick around.Who do you think should replace Bob Iger as head of Disney when he steps down in 2019?Click To Tweet