News The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors Extends Robert A. Iger’s Contract as CEO Through 2026

MarvelCharacterNerd

Well-Known Member
Reaction torn between:

He wants to sell the company to Apple as his last hurrah and needs time to get it through all the necessary regulatory approvals.

vs.

He needs three years to go through his closets to find all the hand-me-down cardigans for Josh. :p

I think that extension makes Josh the heir apparent as it gives him time to learn about running the other divisions. But there's still plenty of time to Chapek/McCarthy him, too.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
@MisterPenguin

Would you like to tell us again when Iger is leaving?

Right here, smartguy:

I went to Fox Business site and couldn't find such a statement... which most assuredly would simply be speculation anyway from some opinion writer.

Could Iger stay longer? Yes. Could he leave at the appointed time? Yes.

Does anyone know if Iger has plans to ask to stay longer? Unlikely anyone knows.


I just saw that tweet claiming Iger is gonna extend his contract.

WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO TO GET RID OF THE GUY?

He could. But we really don't know. A single tweet doesn't change the fact that we really don't know.

If you were to believe Tweets, Kathleen Kennedy would have been fired eight years ago.



Now, when you're done purposely misconstruing what I said, let's take a look at your ability to prognosticate...
I think Iger is going to be forced out. He won’t have the opportunity to throw the next CEO under the bus.

LOL. You really have your ear to the street, there, fella.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
Really - I don't think the FTC would allow Apple to purchase Disney - not without some significant divestures first. ESPN - maybe even shutting down Disney+ and Hulu and absorbing them into AppleTV...

So Apple gives Disney a buncha cash.
Iger uses that to payoff Universal and buyout Hulu.
Iger then shutters Hulu and Disney+ and licenses the entire catalog to AppleTV (maybe not the entire catalog but a good chunk of it) for more cash infusion.

That recenters Disney as a content creator along with the theme parks and Apple essentially funds it all.

While I don't think an Apple purchase of TWDC is in the cards, there's really nothing from stopping it.

Apple TV has only started to cover sports. There would be no potential of a merger that would give Apple/Disney a monopoly on sports.

Apple TV's content is almost strictly new made-for-Apple-TV movies and series from independent production studios. Apple TV very purposely chose not to buy a content library or to create their own studios... until the practice of buying new independent content wasn't exactly enough content to make them competitive in the Streaming Wars. So, they started buying older content to establish a library, and its own Apple TV studio to create content in-house.

This is all a long way to say that Apple TV produces by itself very little content. If merged with Disney, Apple TV studio could be shut down or made into another niche studio like Searchlight. Therefore, there's no monopoly concerns.

So, if there's no monopolistic concerns with regard to sports or content studios, there is nothing that would impair an Apple - TWDC merger since all their other divisions do not overlap.

Also want to point out: Disney has plenty of cash and credit to buy out Comcast from Hulu. $10B is sitting in liquidity. Tens of billions are available through credit lines.
 
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MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
An excerpt from Iger’s speech when the Board approached him about an extension:

“It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love this company. I love Disney. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!”
So this is how corporate succession dies... with thunderous applause.
 

monothingie

U i$ tH3 M@g!K
Premium Member
An excerpt from Iger’s speech when the Board approached him about an extension:

“It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love this company. I love Disney. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!”
revenge of the sith episode 3 GIF by Star Wars
 

Nubs70

Well-Known Member
An excerpt from Iger’s speech when the Board approached him about an extension:

“It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love this company. I love Disney. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!”
To continue :"Then at some future time of my choosing, rise again and stab you in the back"
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I really dislike Iger as CEO and have wanted him gone for well over a decade.

But…

This contract extension is almost certainly the best-case scenario in the present Wall Street and entertainment industry environment.
This is kind of where I am. Who do you want to succeed him who is actually likely to succeed him at this point?

I also recognise this is a problem, however. Disney is a lot like a country that hasn't really found a viable mechanism for the transfer of power.
 

MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member


Robert A. Iger has extended his reign at Disney through 2026, as finding an heir continues to be difficult and questions mount about the viability of the company’s vaunted movie studios and theme parks.​
The Walt Disney Company said on Wednesday that Mr. Iger, 72, will remain chief executive for two years beyond his previously announced re-retirement date. Mr. Iger reluctantly ended his first run at Disney in 2021, handing the company’s top job to Bob Chapek, a former theme park executive. Mr. Chapek was fired in November, and Mr. Iger made a triumphant return as chief executive.​
At the time, Disney said Mr. Iger had been asked “to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the board in developing a successor to lead the company at the completion of his term.” Mr. Iger repeatedly said that he would retire for good when his contract was up at the end of 2024.​
“My plan is to stay here for two years,” Mr. Iger told CNBC in November. “That was my agreement with the board, and that is my preference.”​
But many people in Hollywood were skeptical. During his first tenure as chief executive, from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger delayed his departure at least three times. (He continued as Disney’s executive chairman for a year after stepping down as chief executive.)​
“Because I want to ensure Disney is strongly positioned when my successor takes the helm, I have agreed to the board’s request to remain C.E.O. for an additional two years,” Mr. Iger said in a statement on Wednesday.​
“The importance of the succession process cannot be overstated," he added, “and as the board continues to evaluate a highly qualified slate of internal and external candidates, I remain intensely focused on a successful transition.”​
In the months since Mr. Iger has been back at Disney, he has moved quickly to cut costs — some $5.5 billion, in part by eliminating 7,000 jobs, including at Pixar and ESPN — and push Disney’s streaming operation toward profitability. He also won a proxy battle with the activist investor Nelson Peltz, one turning in part on Disney’s poor track record of succession planning. Mr. Peltz declined to comment on Wednesday.​
But a successor has yet to be identified. The board has been looking at candidates inside and outside the company, Disney has said. Mr. Iger brought a trio of executives with him to this week’s Allen & Company Sun Valley media conference, the annual “billionaires’ summer camp,” and all are viewed as succession possibilities: Dana Walden, a co-chairman of Disney Entertainment; her counterpart, Alan Bergman; and Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.​
A spokeswoman for Mr. Iger said he was unavailable for an interview.​
In recent months, as Disney’s troubles have increased, senior executives have privately pressed Mr. Iger to renew. In its statement on Wednesday, Disney took pains to point out that it was the board, not Mr. Iger, that pushed for an extension. Given his serial contract renewals, a narrative has formed in Hollywood, rightly or wrongly, that he is reluctant to step away from power. “The board determined it is in the best interest of shareholders to extend his tenure, and he has agreed to our request,” Mark G. Parker, chairman of the Disney board, said in the statement, adding that Mr. Iger had already “set Disney on the right strategic path for ongoing value creation.”​
Disney shares have been trading at about $90, down 3 percent from a year ago and 54 percent from their peak in March 2021. Following the news of Mr. Iger’s extension, shares remained largely flat in after-hours trading.​
The challenge is that, in addition to succession, Disney is dealing with problems on almost every front, including new questions about its movie studios, given disappointing results at the summer box office for “Elemental,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and, to a lesser extent, “The Little Mermaid.” Disney has been maneuvering to buy full control of Hulu, but such a purchase would be expensive, and Disney is loaded with roughly $45 billion in debt, partly because of the pandemic.​
In the meantime, Disney’s earnings engine for the last 30 years — traditional television, including ESPN — has become a shadow of its former self, the result of cord cutting, advertising weakness and rising sports programming costs. Mr. Iger is betting that streaming services will return the company to growth. But Disney+ has been shedding subscribers, and a broader streaming division remains unprofitable, losing nearly $2 billion since the start of the fiscal year.​
Disney is also contending with a lingering screenwriters’ strike; and contract negotiations between studios and SAG-AFTRA, the guild that represents about 160,000 actors, have been going poorly and could result in a strike as early as Thursday.​
Unlike most of its rival media conglomerates, Disney can rely on its theme park business for profit and growth — unless a recession hits. Lately, attendance at the company’s largest property, Disney World in Florida, has appeared to weaken as part of a broader decline in tourism to Florida. (Universal Studios has also seen softness, according to analysts.)
Disney has been embroiled in a public standoff with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over control of government services at Disney World. Dueling lawsuits are making their way through federal and state courts, and Mr. DeSantis has been harshly critical of Disney as a “woke” corporation while campaigning for president.​
In an email to employees on Wednesday, Mr. Iger acknowledged the company’s many challenges.​
“There is more to accomplish before this transformative work is complete, and I am committed to seeing this through,” he said. “As I’ve said many times since we began this important transformation of the company, our progress will not be linear as we continue navigating a difficult economic environment and the tectonic shifts occurring in our industry.”​
Brooks Barnes is a media and entertainment reporter, covering all things Hollywood. He joined The Times in 2007 as a business reporter focused primarily on the Walt Disney Company. He previously worked for The Wall Street Journal. More about Brooks Barnes
 

Skywise

Well-Known Member
While I don't think an Apple purchase of TWDC is in the cards, there's really nothing from stopping it.

Apple TV has only started to cover sports. There would be no potential of a merger that would give Apple/Disney a monopoly on sports.

Apple TV's content is almost strictly new made-for-Apple-TV movies and series from independent production studios. Apple TV very purposely chose not to buy a content library or to create their own studios... until the practice of buying new independent content wasn't exactly enough content to make them competitive in the Streaming Wars. So, they started buying older content to establish a library, and its own Apple TV studio to create content in-house.

This is all a long way to say that Apple TV produces by itself very little content. If merged with Disney, Apple TV studio could be shut down or made into another niche studio like Searchlight. Therefore, there's no monopoly concerns.

So, if there's no monopolistic concerns with regard to sports or content studios, there is nothing that would impair an Apple - TWDC merger since all their other divisions do not overlap.

Also want to point out: Disney has plenty of cash and credit to buy out Comcast from Hulu. $10B is sitting in liquidity. Tens of billions are available through credit lines.
Right - CONTENT-wise with just ESPN and the Disney/Pixar/Fox/Marvel library I don't think Apple has a monopoly issue.

It's when you link in ABC broadcasting AND Hulu AND Disney+ AND the theme parks that you're reducing competition in the field overall. Although this already happened to a lesser extent with the Fox purchase.

I don't think splitting up Disney's movies and theme parks is a good idea either which is why I think licensing the content to AppleTV might be the way to go.

Re: the so-called liquidity it all depends on what HULU is valued at. If it's 10-20B they'll be fine, if it's more than that then you're going to cash strap a company that's already running on low margins. Especially with rising interest rates.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
Maybe it's worth asking who everyone thinks is a viable better option to take over the company?
I'm not sure enough people here are plugged into the Hollywood / Media scene to know the players who are more business than creative. Given the way of the world, I think it would have to be someone tasked with solving streaming as problem #1. And I am concerned that is going to be someone who is going to go all Warner Discovery and slash and burn. Which is why I'm agnostic on the Candle Media option. Staggs may be Strategic Planning and boring as hell but I don't think he has an interest in destroying Disney in the process, and Mayer can deal with the streaming stuff. But I don't think Iger wants to open the door to that and his precious "legacy" given he let both of them leave in the first place.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure enough people here are plugged into the Hollywood / Media scene to know the players who are more business than creative. Given the way of the world, I think it would have to be someone tasked with solving streaming as problem #1. And I am concerned that is going to be someone who is going to go all Warner Discovery and slash and burn. Which is why I'm agnostic on the Candle Media option. Staggs may be Strategic Planning and boring as hell but I don't think he has an interest in destroying Disney in the process, and Mayer can deal with the streaming stuff. But I don't think Iger wants to open the door to that and his precious "legacy" given he let both of them leave in the first place.
But this is where I am with @Casper Gutman in terms of wondering whether there is a better option waiting out there to take over. For example, is the Staggs scenario any better than Iger just extending his contract?

The thing that annoys me with all this discussion is that I see mostly Lulz and very little in the way of constructive suggestions.
 

Casper Gutman

Well-Known Member
I've said it before: Almost everyone who left Disney gets lionized as a genius and possible savior of the company, while everyone who remains in Disney is demonized as incompetent fools hellbent on destroying the company.

There is no middle ground.
It's almost like the problems posters complain about aren't due primarily to incompetent or misguided individual actors but rather to a complex web of much broader forces that result in the creation and empowerment of those individuals.
 

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