Iger: no plans to extend Disney CEO tenure

The future leadership of The Walt Disney Company remains in flux after current CEO and chairman Bob Iger told investors he “currently” has no plans to extend his contract.

Bob IgerDisney was expected to install Thomas Staggs in the top post when Iger’s contract runs out in 2018, but Staggs’ exit has thrown plans into chaos.

Asked about the situation on an investor calls, Iger said the Disney board had “ample time to identify a successor under timing circumstances that will be just fine for the company”.

“I have nothing really to add in terms of the extension of my contract except that I don’t currently have any plans to extend beyond the June expiration date that is June of 2018,” he added.

Iger said he was “sorry what came to pass” with Staggs, who resigned after the board decided to vet other options for CEO after Iger’s retirement.

Iger has been CEO since 2005, when he succeeded Michael Eisner, and since led acquisitions of Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, significantly broadening The Mouse House’s access to intellectual property and contributing to ratings and box office booms.

Second quarter 2016 results released yesterday, however, came in under analysts’ expectations. The company made earnings of US$2.14 billion for the quarter ended April 2, 2016, on revenues of US$12.97 billion.

The studio entertainment arm well exceeded an expected US$1.9 billion, and was up 22% year-on-year at US$2.06 billion. However, the media networks segment, which houses ABC and Disney’s cable channels, saw revenues fall slightly from US$5.81 in Q2 2015 to US$5.79 billion.

Cable networks dipped 2% to US$3.96 billion in revenue, while the ABC broadcast business rose 3% to reach US$1.84 billion. The launch of Viceland, which Disney indirectly owns a stake in through A+E Networks, was cited as one notable cost.

However, operating income at the cable division grew 12% to US$2.02 billion, while the broadcasting arm dropped 8% and came in at U$278 million.