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TH Creative

Ben Sherwood Moves Up The Disney Ladder ... Potential CEO

Published: March 25, 2014 at 4:11 AM

My pick for the person to succeed Robert Iger as Disney CEO just landed a HUGE promotion.

From Politico:

"ABC News President Ben Sherwood has been tapped to take the helm at the Disney-ABC Television Group, one of the most powerful positions in the television industry, Disney chairman Robert Iger announced on Monday.

Sherwood, who has led ABC News through one of its most impressive periods of growth, will assume the new role on Feb. 1, 2015, when Anne Sweeney steps down. Sweeney announced her resignation earlier this month."

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Replies (8)

Jack Partridge

Published: March 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM

As for taking over Bob Iger as CEO, I think it would be too soon after the promotion. Iger is supposedly leaving in 2015/16 so less than a year as head of ABC/Disney wouldn't make any sense - in terms of trying to shake up the division. All bets are off if he's still there in ten years after the next CEO! *cough* better not be Rasulo *cough*
TH Creative

Published: March 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Mr. Sherwood would be a great CEO. Movie experience and extraordinary success at ABC. Interestingly, he has followed the same path as Mr. Iger -- who also served as ABC's president.

Sherwood is on the fast track.

Robert Niles

Published: March 27, 2014 at 10:08 AM

At this point, it feels like Iger is leaving Disney the way that Leno left The Tonight Show. The departure keeps moving back.

I think that if either of the two most-often mentioned successors, Staggs or Rasulo, had really made a strong claim on the job, the succession would be moving along more aggressively now. Which leads me to wonder if the job isn't still up for grabs, clearing a path for someone else to jump in. So, sure, I'll go with TH on this one.

Jack Partridge

Published: March 28, 2014 at 9:25 AM

I completely agree Mr Niles. Eisner - whilst not ever officially stating it - quite clearly made Iger his Number 2 with him taking over as President and COO in 2000. Fast forward to today, where Disney have no clear leader from the current view. With Iger supposedly stepping down in June of 2016 as CEO and Chairman of the company, I don't know if the time frame fits for Sherwood - who is taking over the ABC job in 2015 - to quickly move all the way to the top within a year. If Iger keeps delaying his retirement, even by a year, I think that time frame works. Or equally, Sherwood laying out a brilliant strategy to the Board of producing best in class content to a multitude of platforms.

Whoever takes over, I really hope they have a clear strategy for embracing technology. The Interactive Division is still causing headaches and MyMagic+ - or any other derivative of the name - has lost the focus of what made the project stand out in the first place. Technology has propelled the company to where they are today, and they still make great inroads. But focus should be the top priority for the future!

TH Creative

Published: March 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM. Edited: March 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Both Mr. Sherwood (who [in the interest of full disclosure] was a high school acquaintance of mine [we met at Harvard University ... an absolutely true story]) and Mr. Iger came up through the ranks of ABC television.

Note to Niles: Mr. Sherwood stayed at my house during the 1980 Northwestern High School Speech/Debate tournament. He shoveled snow off my dad's driveway. Again, true story ... Cross my heart.

Although I am not sure he has big global balls (i.e.: the iron to punch a Chinese official in the face) he is a film/content guy (writer/producer). And he has proven himself at ABC.

So ... Go Ben!

TH Creative

Published: March 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

TH Creative

Published: March 28, 2014 at 7:47 PM

"Lucky people pay attention to things ... They are open to opportunities." His words to God's ear.

VERY smart guy.

TH Creative

Published: April 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

THIS is who should be Robert Iger's successor!

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