Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Bob Iger to step down as Disney CEO in 2015

Written by
Published: October 7, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Disney announced today that CEO Bob Iger will step down in 2015. No word yet on who will replace him, though presumably Disney's planning to promote a successor from within, given the long lead time on the announcement.

Iger will stay with the company for a year after stepping down as CEO, then leave Disney entirely. Iger will be 65 when he leaves the company.

Current Disney Parks chairman Tom Staggs and former parks chairman Jay Rasulo are tipped as the most likely replacements.

What do you think of the job Iger's done at Disney? Who would you like to see as his replacement?

Readers' Opinions

From 70.127.90.83 on October 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM
I always thought Eisner did a much better job, especially when it came to the theme parks.
From Tim W on October 7, 2011 at 12:28 PM
What interesting news lately! If Rasulo is to take over, I fear the return of an Eisner-like era. However, if Staggs takes the position I see even more prosper for the company.
From Jorge Arnoldson on October 7, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Hopefully, the new CEO will be better and less greedier than Iger.
From James Rao on October 7, 2011 at 1:52 PM
Mr. Iger's legacy will be determined by Cars land, New Fantasyland, and Pandora, however, you have to give him major demerits for continually failing to address the Disco Yeti issue.

As for a successor, if Johnny Depp, Nathan Fillion, and Robert Niles all turn down the job, then James Rao is definitely available.

From Nick Markham on October 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM
What is with all of the negative comments? Iger has done quite a good job with Disney. I hope you realize the company has more concerns than theme parks, but even so, the Disney Parks most certainly prospered during Iger's run so far. He acquired PIXAR and Marvel, two HUGE companies, added two ships to the Disney Cruise Line, and will continue to do more and more.

Plus, let us remember he won't be stepping down for another four years. That's quite awhile.

From Tim W on October 7, 2011 at 2:12 PM
I honestly don't see much that was wrong with Iger. He secured Pixar in the Disney realm for forever, while Eisner almost let them go. He also has done a marvelous job with allowing the expansion and resurgence of parks. With Eisner, Disney encountered the failure of Euro Disney.
From 184.88.73.44 on October 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM
Um Rao ... HELLO?! ... Did you forget to add somoeone to that list?! ... Right over here babes!
From 184.88.73.44 on October 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM
International theme parks, hotels, retail, food and beverage, television, motion pictures, print media, vaction ownership, cruise lines, cable television, radio, zoological operations, land management, facilities management and employees in excess of 100,000.

Is Charles Foster Kane available?

From TH Creative on October 7, 2011 at 3:51 PM
DAMN! I forgot to log in! Now how will Rao identify me as the guy who should be on his list???
From Sylvain Comeau on October 7, 2011 at 5:10 PM
Whoever takes over, let's hope he has the ability to think long term and invest for the future rather than just the next quarter. I think John Lasseter should get the job; he cares about quality over short-sighted penny pinching, and he is already widely respected both in the industry and by the fans.
From James Rao on October 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM
TH, you and I would be a great tandem as you would prevent me from going Pirate Crazy, and I would prevent you from getting Jungle Fever!
From Anthony Murphy on October 8, 2011 at 5:58 AM
Any reason why he would step down in 2015? I find that the oddest that he would give a date.

Personally, I think he has been doing pretty well and keeping the tradition alive. I am interested in seeing how his theme park expansions will go under him.

2015 is still ages away!

From 199.72.188.238 on October 8, 2011 at 8:12 AM
I think Bob Iger has done an average job, considering the constraints the company puts on him with budgets and other bureaucratic nonsense. I think he would have liked to have been able to do more enhancements and additions to the park, but I think he did OK with the resources he had. A replacement I would like to see but would never happen is Diane Disney Miller, Walt's daughter.
From David Graham on October 8, 2011 at 8:35 AM
Joe Rohde works for me, put a imagineer into the role, at least creativity will be there. Just no bean counters all I ask, and TH and Rao you got my votes to as a shareholder lol.
From Anon Mouse on October 8, 2011 at 9:26 PM
Some comments on Iger is ridiculous. I thought Iger did a terrific job after the mess of Eisner. He completed the deal with Pixar, which opened up new budgets for DCA's extreme makeover with Carsland and such especially since the recession/depression from 2008 to now. With Avatar's announcement, it's almost a new Golden Age of Disney. I wish Iger will stay longer in his position. There's no certainty with him gone.
From Scott B on October 10, 2011 at 4:55 AM
Anthony, my guess is that Iger stepping down in 2015 has something to do with him being 65 that year. 65 is a common retirement age. Maybe he is already compiling a retirment reading list. He will finally be able to start reading Game of Thrones. I heard he has had that on his book list for AGES!
From J. Dana on October 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM
From J. Dana on October 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM
To figure out why Iger is choosing this specific timing for his Disney retirement, one needs to look no further than the political calendar. What ELSE is happening in 2016? I'll leave it at that....except to say, you should then search the LA times database. It's an easy puzzle to put together.
From J. Dana on October 11, 2011 at 9:27 PM
BTW, I think Iger has been a REMARKABLE leader for the Disney Company. Pixar. Marvel. California Adventure. Avatar....and financial stability in the face of tremendous economic pressures. And most everyone at the company LOVES him, because he respects his people. The best thing about him is his philosophy: "I surround myself with people who are smarter/better than me and I let them do their job."

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Vote of the week: Should Disney give Steve Jobs a window on Main Street?



Planning a trip to Walt Disney World?

Family vacation

Insider's Pick: Don't try to do Disney without the ever-entertaining and informative Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014. Save time and money with these tested tips and strategies for getting the most from a Disney World vacation. It's a great investment in happiness for you and your family.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks