Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bob Iger Will Stay as Disney CEO Until 2018

The WDC announced today that Bob Iger will stay on as chief executive and chairman of Walt Disney Co. until mid-2018, two years later than his previously planned retirement in 2016.

In addition, the WDC is expected to name a chief operating officer, who will likely be groomed as its next CEO, sometime in 2015, according to a person familiar with the situation. Iger has run Disney without a No. 2 executive since he took over in 2005.

Iger's contract extension maintains the same annual compensation terms as his existing contract. Iger, 63, will have the opportunity to earn a performance-based retention bonus if certain financial performance goals are met over a five-year period ending with the 2018 fiscal year.

"I’ve had the privilege of being the CEO of this great company for nine years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue through June 2018,” Iger said. “I’m very excited about what lies ahead, including the release of our ‘Star Wars’ films and the launch of Shanghai Disneyland, and I’m honored to continue working with our talented management team and the 175,000 dedicated people who make this company what it is today.”

"Mr. Iger’s vision and strategy for the company led to the successful acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, the resurgence of Disney animation, and the dramatic expansion of its parks and resorts around the world, positioning the company for continued long-term growth," Smith added. "Given Mr. Iger’s outstanding record to date, it is obvious that shareholders and the company will be best served by his continued leadership, which is why the Board of Directors has asked him to extend his contract for two years, to June 30, 2018. I am pleased to report that Mr. Iger has accepted. Disney has an incredibly strong senior management team, and the Board is confident in the leadership talent available for succession planning."

O-kay, so Iger is here to stay until 2018, why not. What does it mean? First, it could mean that no one was found yet to be a ( good ) WDC CEO once Iger will leave, which is probably the case. It could also mean that there is no way to have Shanghaî Disneyland open for late 2015, and there was no way Iger was going to miss the opening of what he probably considers his legacy. And in Iger legacy we also have the purchase of Star Wars - Episode 7 coming Dec 2015 if there, too, there is no delay, and the Avatar land which will open in 2017 at Animal Kingdom. By staying till 2018 he'll be able to enjoy the awaited openings, which to be honest, he fully deserves. But, more simply, Iger certainly enjoy the job and the board probably think there is no one else better than him for it. Now, if Iger before leaving in 2018 could add one more legacy, and do for Disneyland Paris what he did for DCA and HKDL, this would be great, isn't it?


Allan said...

I think this is good news. He is the one who comes out and pointed out the problems at DCA, HKDL and WDS then worked on solving the problems. Okay all three parks maybe still not very great but Cars Land, Mystic Manor and Ratatouille are very good additions. They can all do with more.

I also agree strongly with his purchases of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Now if only he would purchase the troubled Studio Ghibli as well... that studio needs Disney's help.

Iger still has lots of things that he can do for the company.

Jones said...

If there is anything in the world that Ghibli does not need, it´s Disney. I cannot think of any two companies that would be a worse match. Miyazaki´s opinion on Disney has always bordered on contempt...
Besides, Ghibli is a national treasure to the Japanese. The idea of it falling into Disney´s hands - sorry, no way.

Allan said...

Ghibli's films are already distributed by Disney outside Japan. John Lasseter is a big fan of Ghibli. Miyazaki himself said he had secured the studio's future when he signed the distribution deal.

Ghibli is in financial trouble right now because their last release was not strong in the market.

Jones said...

@Allan: Of course Lasseter is a huge Miyzaki fan. But I´m pretty sure the feeling is not mutual... Distribution is one thing, creative control another...
Would you like to see Ghibli become another satellite studio producing Planes VII or Cars VI for Disney? Because that´s what would eventually happen, regardless of what Lasseter would have promised...

Allan said...

I do not see how a studio that has suffered losses consistently can exist.

Any film studio that wants to stay in business have to do a hit film every now and again. You cannot ignore financial reality. You can survive without income, fine, but the staff who work for you cannot. Studio Ghibli is not a one or two man company. They employ hundreds and everyone needs a income. Your tea lady needs to get paid a salary.

Even Steven Spielberg needs to make financially successful movies like Jurassic Park before he can do Schindler's list.

Nobody can just do art films ALL the time. Where is the income for the hundreds of other people who make your movie become a reality?