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Volume 26 No. 25
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Disney Has Several Internal Options To Succeed Bob Iger After '21

ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro is considered a potential successor to Iger
Photo: ESPN IMAGES

Disney Chair & CEO BOB IGER is planning to leave the company when his contract expires in '21, and his successor "will be inheriting the financial bets" Iger is "placing now," according to Erich Schwartzel of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Among some of the "internal candidates" for Iger's successor are Parks, Experiences & Products Chair BOB CHAPEK and Direct-to-Consumer & Int'l Groups Chair KEVIN MAYER, who is overseeing the new Disney+ streaming service. ESPN President JIMMY PITARO is also "considered a possible contender." Iger has "delayed his retirement four times," but his remarks during last week's Disney+ investor event were his "most definitive yet on the topic." Executive recruiter firm Crist Kolder Associates Chair PETER CRIST said that a "wild card in the Disney search is how big an influence" Iger will play in the selection of his successor. Multiple recruiters "predicted Disney would choose an insider for its next leader." But they said that the company would "still look at external candidates." Mayer has "helped orchestrate" Iger's biggest deals. He played a "visible role" in last week's presentation to investors, "offering details on the price and rollout strategy." But since Disney's acquisition of Fox assets closed, a "new candidate has also emerged" -- former 21st Century Fox President PETER RICE (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/13).