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Disney gives CEO Bob Iger two extra years to find another successor

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Disney has prolonged Bob Iger’s contract till the top of 2026, prolonging what was meant to be a short-term keep for the chief govt after he returned to the world’s largest leisure firm final November.

On returning to the corporate, Iger had been charged with discovering a brand new successor earlier than the top of 2024, however Disney mentioned on Wednesday that its impartial administrators had voted unanimously to increase his time period by two years.

Iger’s first stint as CEO began in 2005 and lasted for 15 years. It was marked by transformative acquisitions and industry-leading progress but additionally by the exits of a number of executives who had been recognized as attainable successors. Bob Chapek, the previous theme parks chief in the end picked to succeed him, lasted solely 33 months in a rocky tenure marked by accusations that Iger had undermined him.

His new contract contains the chance to earn 5 occasions his base wage in annual bonuses, up from one occasions wage beforehand.

“Iger’s extension gives continuity of management through the firm’s ongoing transformation, and permits extra time to execute a transition plan for CEO succession,” Disney mentioned in an announcement.

“I consider Disney’s long-term future is extremely vibrant, however there may be extra to perform earlier than this transformative work is full,” Iger mentioned, including that he wished to make sure the corporate was strongly positioned when his eventual successor took over. The board was nonetheless evaluating each inner and exterior candidates, he mentioned, including: “I stay intensely targeted on a profitable transition.”

The choice comes as Disney is weathering challenges on a number of fronts. The corporate has come beneath hearth from Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, and different Republicans for its assist for LGBTQ causes. Its studios’ inventive document is in query after Pixar’s Elemental flopped on the field workplace final month, and its sports activities community ESPN and different manufacturers are contending with falling cable tv revenues.

Like a lot of its rivals, Disney can also be contending with a writers’ strike in Hollywood, the rising prices of sports activities rights and the necessity to enhance the profitability of its streaming service, Disney+, which has required heavy funding since its launch on the finish of Iger’s first tenure.

In his first time period as CEO, Iger purchased Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, giving Disney a number of the most respected franchises in Hollywood historical past and a progress story that was the envy of its rivals.

Doug Creutz, an analyst with TD Cowen, mentioned that extending Iger’s contract “probably takes a little bit of an overhang off the inventory, on condition that Iger is now over midway via his authentic two-year tenure, but it surely additionally reinforces the notion that the corporate continues to have critical succession planning points”.

Disney can also be been attempting to find a brand new chief monetary officer. Christine McCarthy left final month for a household medical go away of absence.

Mark Parker, Disney’s chair, mentioned: “Repeatedly, Bob has proven an unparalleled potential to efficiently remodel Disney to drive future progress and monetary returns.”

Shares in Disney have been 0.8 per cent greater in after-hours buying and selling following the announcement, valuing the group at about $165bn.