Disney CEO Bob Iger is extending his time as head of the Walt Disney Company. Iger’s contract, which was set to expire in December 2024, is being extended through December 2026.
The press release says Iger’s extension will provide more time for a new CEO succession plan.
In voting unanimously to extend Mr. Iger’s contract by two years, the independent members of the Board of Directors noted that Iger’s extension provides continuity of leadership during the Company’s ongoing transformation, and allows more time to execute a transition plan for CEO succession, which remains a priority for the Board.
Iger, 72, returned as head of the Walt Disney Company in 2022 after a brief stint from Bob Chapek. Iger was primarily tasked with finding a strong replacement and with settling the growing financial turmoil around Disney. Unfortunately, the financial questions have persisted as Disney’s studio efforts have stumbled and their parks investments have slowed to a crawl.
The rocky finances surrounding Disney led many to believe Iger would extend his time at the head of the company. We even wrote about the growing Iger extension rumor earlier this month. There isn’t an obvious internal candidate and hiring an external candidate carries its own risks. An Iger extension seemed inevitable.
Iger has a tall task ahead of him. As much as he and the board need to find a successor, the need to stabilize and course correct Disney’s finances is imperative. Disney also needs to find its creative spark that many feel has gone missing in recent years. The ‘Disney Difference’ has been increasingly stripped away from Disney parks in favor of complexity, nickel and diming, and poor show.
Will Iger be able to go out on a high note? Or will this extension only buy time before the next candidate can be assigned Disney’s problems?