Staggs came up at Disney, serving 12 years as the company’s chief financial officer before taking over its parks and resorts division in 2010, where he presided over the expansion of parks in Florida, California and Hong Kong. “However, we believe the company has sufficient time to find a suitable successor, and the potential to persuade Mr. Iger to stay past 2018 if need be, which makes this news a net-neutral for Disney”. Whoever replaces Iger, a 65-year-old whose contract is up in June 2018, could be the first outsider to run the company since Michael Eisner in 1984. That could certainly be a positive for the media and entertainment company-Disney shares have gained more than 316% since Iger took over in October 2005-as long as he doesn’t start pushing executives out the door and they don’t start heading for the exits.

Whatever prompted Staggs’ departure, what’s clear is that the media giant’s board faces a succession planning process that looks to be much thornier than most.

Now, Burbank-based Disney, which has long promoted from within for its major posts, is increasingly likely to turn to an outside candidate for the CEO position. “Even if iger gets extended again, you must have a plan in case he gets hit by a truck tomorrow”. Perhaps, “but that doesn’t solve the fundamental problem” of the succession plan, Needham’s Martin says.

“Iger has done such a commendable job in his 10 years at Disney that he will be a very hard act to follow”, said Tim Nollen, an analyst at Macquarie Capital, in a research note.

That would be an intriguing re-hire for Disney. By the 1970s, Disney was the object of hostile takeover attempts. At the time, some analysts thought that Comcast would put Burke in charge of Disney if Disney agreed to a deal.

Yes, something happened. Staggs has done more to tarnish the Disney brand than anyone in the company’s history.

Martin Pyykkonen, analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, agreed that Sandberg – or someone with a track record like her – would be a good fit.

Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente said Disney has plenty of time to make a decision. “I remain grateful for that opportunity, and I’m confident that Disney’s future will be just as exciting as its legendary past”.

There is one executive at Disney who could take on the top job – the one who already has it.

Analysts and industry insiders said Staggs’ lack of experience in entertainment content may have led the company’s board to change course on the succession plan.

Despite the current concerns about cable cord cutting at ESPN and ratings at ABC impacting Disney’s bottom line, the company has arguably the best movie pipeline in Hollywood.

The Walt Disney Company, incorporated on July 28, 1995, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified worldwide family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media.

A Forbes article stated that it was during Iger’s reigns that the Disney’s stock began to triple, brought about by investments and the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm. Those trends are unlikely to abate over the remainder of Iger’s tenure or the beginning of his successor’s.

Source: State of the State Ks

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