Bob Iger Remaining Disney CEO to July 201923 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
“If it ain't broke, don't fix it,” appears to be the motto at Disney, which extended the employment contract of CEO Bob Iger to July 2019. The 66-year-old executive, who has held the top corporate position at Disney since 2006, was seen to be stepping down when his contract expired in June 2018.
“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,” Orin Smith, independent lead director of the board, said in a .
Former COO Tom Staggs, who was seen as potential successor to Iger, left the company last May. His contract was due to expire in June 2018.
Smith said Disney, under Iger, has attained new creative heights, expanding the company’s global reach, fostering technological innovation, and delivering year-after-year of record financial results.
“Mr. Iger has created enormous value for shareholders, with total shareholder return of 448%, compared to 144% for the S&P 500, and a dramatic increase in the company’s market capitalization to $177 billion from $46 billion,” he said.
Much of that success has been due to shrewd acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm (i.e. Star Wars), in addition to the careful management and marketing of the venerable Disney brand, and embrace of digital distribution – notably over-the-top video.
The latter is now seen as potential savior to ESPN, the sports channel juggernaut, which has seen pay-TV subscriptions decline significantly as consumers seek alternative options, including online TV.
ESPN remains Iger’s biggest reported challenge at Disney.