Yesterday afternoon, Disney announced that COO Tom Staggs would be leaving his position at the Walt Disney Company, effective May 6, 2016. The long-time Disney exec was expected to takeover the role of CEO for the company from Bob Iger who will is on tap for a scheduled retirement that’s actually been pushed back once before.
With no immediate successor in sight many question if Disney will be looking outwards or encourage Iger to continue to extend his contract with the company. Iger has had undoubted success in his tenure helming the house of mouse and it may be a likely consideration.
With approximately two years left before Mr. Iger steps down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Disney’s Board of Directors will broaden the scope of its succession planning process to identify and evaluate a robust slate of candidates for consideration.
“Tom has been a great friend and trusted colleague for more than 20 years,” said Iger in a statement. “He’s made important contributions to this company, earning wide respect across the organization for his achievements and personal integrity. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, immensely grateful for the privilege of working with him, and confident that he will be enormously successful in whatever opportunity he chooses.”
Mr. Staggs’ planned departure caps a distinguished 26-year career that began in Strategic Planning. He rose through the ranks to be named Chief Financial Officer, earning praise from Wall Street for his financial and communications skills. Mr. Staggs also led Disney’s Parks & Resorts through an era of historic growth.
Mr. Staggs said, “Disney truly stands alone, not only because of the Company’s phenomenal creativity, but also because of the thousands of remarkable people who make it such an extraordinary place. It’s been a privilege to work with them and be inspired by their creativity and commitment. It’s also been a great experience to work with Bob during this dynamic era of unprecedented growth and transformation. I remain grateful for that opportunity, and I’m confident that Disney’s future will be just as exciting as its legendary past.”