The cloud surrounding who will succeed Disney CEO Bob Iger may be clearing up with two former executives rejoining the fold.
Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs will rejoin the company as consultants to Iger, according to the Financial Times. The pair were top contenders for taking over as CEO before Iger’s initial retirement but left Disney when it was clear Bob Chapek would be the successor.
Last year, Iger came out of retirement after Bob Chapek was let go following a short, but problem-filled run. Disney recently extended Iger’s contract through 2026.
The return of these two executives signals that Disney is eager to set up a clear path for the future of the company’s leadership – even if it’s not a guarantee either will get the role. It comes at a time when Disney is struggling with a myriad of problems, from the movies that are misfiring to its money-losing Disney Plus series. While Iger is navigating the company through these issues, a well-defined succession plan offers additional stability.
Mayer and Staggs were well respected by Wall Street before they left Disney to start a media startup called Candle.
Disney wasn’t available for comment. Check back with Cord Cutters News for further updates.
Disney, meanwhile, is focusing more effort on its streaming division, which has been losing subscribers. Mayer worked on establishing the initial strategy, and also led the acquisition of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises.
Iger has said he found several areas to improve and is reorganizing the company to reduce operational costs, drive up Disney Plus memberships, and add more content to maintain its subscriber base.
The company earlier this month said it would be investing more money and effort into fresh content spanning a variety of genres, casting a wider net to entice more people to keep watching.
Mayer and Staggs will help advise on the state of the legacy television assets, including working with ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro. ESPN has lost subscribers, so the trio will be working towards forming a new game plan for this Disney division.
Their insider knowledge of Disney contributed to the company’s success in the past and is likely to be a big asset in turning things around.
Disney is considering promoting from within. Film Chief Alan Bergman, Co-Chair Dana Walden, and Theme Parks Head Josh D’Amaro are on the list of potential successors, according to the FT. With only a few years remaining until Iger’s second retirement, the clock is ticking on Disney turning things around.