Disney is having trouble finding a new CEO
New York, February 6, 2017 – Bob Iger’s favorite song must be Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The Walt Disney CEO looks set to extend his contract at the Mouse House once again because, sources say, the board can’t find anyone else. Iger is a well-liked boss who has outperformed the market, but he has had a hard time retaining potential candidates for his job.
Among the Disney alums that have come and gone are former chief operating officer Tom Staggs; former chief financial officer, Jay Rasulo; former head of Disney-ABC TV Anne Sweeney; and Sweeney’s successor Ben Sherwood, who might have had thoughts of stepping up to the top slot.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Iger may be asked to stick around beyond his contract which is due to end in June 2018. It would be the third time he has extended his contract after saying he would step down.
The board hasn’t hired a recruiter and isn’t known to be on any search. The paper says the board may need more time for Iger to “train” a successor, straining credulity. Iger has been under pressure to fix one of its biggest profit centers — ESPN which is seeing prices for NFL rights rise as ratings have fallen. The company has also lost millions of subscribers over the years as pay-TV firms have shed customers and moved to skinny-bundle offerings.
Still, Morgan Stanley’s Ben Swinburne increased his target on the stock last week, saying he expects ESPN revenue and that fears about the sports network are overdone. Disney hit a 52-week high on Jan. 31. Last week, Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, cut her Disney stake in half to 4 percent, according to disclosures.
Even so, after watching Time Warner tie-up with AT&T — rewarding shareholders handsomely if the deal is consummated — some have speculated that Disney may favor a get-together with a tech giant. A merger with Apple or a Netflix are those most commonly discussed by Disney watchers. Iger attended a company board meeting on Friday, and could not attend President Trump’s economic advisory council meeting. Iger is the only media-company CEO on the council. Disney was subject to a lawsuit last year, filed by American workers who were forced to train foreign H1-B holders to take their jobs. Disney responded at the time it was compliant with the law.
Bron: New York Post
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