The Disney rumor mill has been abuzz for a while now that there would soon be a changing of the guard over at Walt Disney Company HQ and today Bob Iger, current CEO officially announced that he will step down from his role when his contract expires in mid-2019.
According to reports, Iger announced “This time I mean it” at a media event held by Vanity Fair on October 3rd in Los Angeles. This comes hot on the heels of news earlier this year that Iger’s contract had been extended to 2019 with Orin C. Smith, lead independent director on Disney’s board having this to say: “Mr. Iger has led The Walt Disney Company to unprecedented success during his 11 years as CEO, driving Disney to new creative heights, expanding the Company’s global reach, fostering technological innovation, and delivering year-after-year of record financial results. During his tenure, 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.”
Iger has served served chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company since 2005 when a shareholder revolt ousted then sitting CEO Michael Eisner.
With Iger’s departure now imminent, much speculation has been made as to who will take over the helm with Ben Sherwood (who runs Disney’s media networks) as well as ESPN president John Skipper and Bob Chapek (who runs the company’s theme parks and resort operations) being touted as the frontrunners for the role.
As part of Iger’s contract, he has agreed to stay on as a consultant for three years after stepping down from his role.
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