The Walt Disney Pictures Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has extended his contract with the company through July of 2019. The announcement was expected as the company has been looking for his successor for some now, but been met with various setbacks.
Iger has been with the company for decades, beginning with an executive position at ABC before succeeding Michael Eisner as CEO of Disney in 2005. He has been talking about his exit from the company for a handful of years now, initially planning to exit in 2016, before his contract was extended to June 2018.
Since then, the company has been searching for a successor but dead-ends have led to the continued extension of Iger’s contract. Tom Staggs, who was promoted to COO in 2015, left the company in a shocking move after it became clear they weren’t prepared to name him CEO following Iger’s inevitable departure. Another candidate was Jay Rasulo, the former CFO, but he left after being passed over for the COO position. As of now, no one has replaced Staggs as COO.
Orin C. Smith, the lead independent director of Disney’s board, said about the contract extension: “Given [Bob] Iger’s outstanding leadership, his record of success in a changing media landscape, and his clear strategic vision for Disney’s future, it is obvious that the company and its shareholders will be best served by his continued leadership as the board conducts the robust process of identifying a successor and ensuring a smooth transition.”
Under the new deal, Iger will remain a consultant for three years following his exit as CEO.
In a statement, Iger said: “Even with the incredible success the company has achieved, I am confident that Disney’s best days are still ahead, and I look forward to continuing to build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition.”
It is also said that Iger will receive a $5 million bonus in 2019 for his additional year.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor