It was inevitable.
In rather unsurprising news to Disney fans, The Walt Disney Company announced earlier today that current Disney CEO Bob Iger will once again be extending his contract as CEO extending this time until July 2nd, 2019. This extension marks the third time that Iger has extended his contract and his work for The Walt Disney Company since taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2005. This move became expected when former COO and likely successor to Iger, Tom Staggs had stepped down from the company, leaving no potential successor in sight and pressure from the board to re-negotiate Iger’s contract while the company can buy time to find another successor to replace Iger when he finally does leave in 2019.
“Leading this great company is a tremendous privilege, and I am honored to have been asked to continue serving as CEO through July 2, 2019,” said Bob Iger in a joint statement early this morning, announcing his extension. “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.”
The statement went on to quote other Disney board members, who are certainly enthused that the company’s most profitable era may last just a bit longer than expected. Orin C. Smith, the Independant Lead Director of the Disney board also released a statement saying: “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,”
Smith continued with his statement going on 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.”
While we presented many reasons why Bob Iger should stay on the board, and some why he shouldn’t, this is certainly an unsurprising move by the company and one that was almost inevitable to happen. We look forward to seeing what Bob can continue to bring in the final years of his contract and we hope it will continue to be as ambitious as his years at the company have proven.