"Tom is an incredibly experienced, talented and versatile executive who has led Parks and Resorts during a time of unprecedented growth and expansion, including the construction of Shanghai Disney Resort. His proven ability to lead a business as well as his successful tenure as Disney’s former CFO make him an ideal Chief Operating Officer, expanding his portfolio into all the company’s businesses," Iger said in a statement.
Iger chose Staggs over Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo, the former head of the Disney Parks, whom Staggs replaced when they swapped jobs in 2009. Rasulo declined to extend his contract with Disney last month, prompting speculation that he was not going to get the COO job. Without a Disney contract, Rasulo will be free to accept a CEO position elsewhere.
Not that Staggs is guaranteed getting the Disney CEO position. Iger twice now has accepted extensions to his contract, so his departure in 2018 is not a done deal. Furthermore, according to a Variety report:
"Rumors persist that some Disney board members are leaning toward other options including persuading [Pixar chief John] Lasseter to take the top job after Iger steps down.
Iger, however, is likely to be sympathetic to his lieutenant’s situation. He endured a long apprenticeship under former [CEO Michael] Eisner after being promoted from ABC chief to president of Disney’s international wing in 1999, and then to Disney president-chief operating officer in 2000."
Staggs will remain the head of Disney Parks as he takes on the COO job.
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It's great news, if Staggs and Lasseter get along well. Disney does its best work, whenever they have a creative genius paired with a well-rounded numbers man.
Perhaps, Iger really is stepping down in 2018. I hope so. No man should stay in the top job for too long. If he leaves in 2018, he will still be fondly remembered.
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In 1978, Mr. Ron Miller became CEO at age 50 -- and held the position for six years.
In 1984, Mr. Micahel Eisner became CEO at the age of 42 (Wow!) -- and held the position for twenty-one years (wow, again!)
In 2005 Mr. Iger became CEO at the age of 54 -- and (assuming he actually retires in 2018) will have held the position for 13 years.