Bob Iger Steps Down at Disney. Iger had been planning his succession for a while – By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

In a stunning move that marks the end of an era for one of the entertainment industry’s great corporate success stories, Bob Iger on Tuesday stepped down as chief executive of Walt Disney Co. after 15 years in the job. Iger said two factors led to Tuesday’s decision: how best to manage the company in its current form and how best to manage the succession and transition. Iger said making the change now provided the best outcome.

While the news, which was announced in a press release, came as a surprise, Iger had been planning his succession for a while. Last year, at Disney’s investor conference, he said “2021 will be the time for me to finally step down.” Chapek, a 27-year Disney veteran who most recently led the company’s massively important parks and consumer products business, was named Iger’s successor, effective immediately.

Iger has assumed the role of executive chairman, the company said. In that role, he will direct the Burbank entertainment giant’s creative endeavors and help guide the company’s board through the leadership transition until the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021, Disney said in a statement.

Iger, who turned 69 this month, was instrumental in guiding Disney into the streaming age and through its acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business — a deal worth $52.4 billion when it was announced. Under Iger, Disney went on an acquisition spree that has given it one of the deepest libraries of family-friendly content of any media company, including Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. The acquisition strategy allowed Disney to dominate the box office, generating a record $13 billion in revenue in 2019. It also allowed Disney to take on Netflix with its own streaming service, Disney+, which already has more than 30 million subscribers.

On a phone call with investors following the announcement, Iger said the change will allow him to focus on the creative side of Disney, something he couldn’t do as CEO. Iger said the decision to change titles now was “not accelerated by any particular reason.” Iger said two factors led to Tuesday’s decision: how best to manage the company in its current form and how best to manage the succession and transition. Iger said making the change now provided the best outcome.

While the news, which was announced in a press release, came as a surprise, Iger had been planning his succession for a while. Last year, at Disney’s investor conference, he said “2021 will be the time for me to finally step down.” Disney stock declined sharply after the announcement, dropping about 2.7 percent in after-hours trading.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz
BubbaTrading.com

Financial Markets and Political Commentary

 

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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.