Disney’s Iger lures back former executives as advisors

Disney CEO Bob Iger is reportedly reaching out to his past, bringing back two former executives to help guide the media giant, according to multiple sources. ing.

Multiple news sources say Kevin Mayer and Tom Stags have been rehired to advise Iger on how to deal with Disney’s legacy television business, including the ESPN sports network. Iger confirmed in a recent interview with CNBC that he is considering a potential asset sale.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger arrives at Sun Valley Lodge for the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference on July 11, 2023 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Photo credit: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

In addition to advising Iger, Mayer and Stags will work with ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro to explore strategic options for the sports channel.

Disney and ESPN+ logos

Taken on July 13, 2021, this illustration shows the Disney logo 3D printed in front of the ESPN+ logo. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Photo by Reuters)

Disney CEO Iger hints at selling media assets

Iger signed a two-year extension with Disney in early July, securing his position as CEO of the California-based entertainment giant through the end of 2026. His original contract was to serve as CEO until the end of 2024. Prior to that, he ran his media company from 2005 to 2020.

Iger had a rocky tenure last November, clashing with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and failing to address controversial political and social issues that divided the workforce. After then-CEO Bob Chapek was ousted, he returned to Disney as CEO in November last year.

disney, bob chapek, florida

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek. (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus/Getty Images)

Stags and Mayer were well-received on Wall Street during their time at Disney, and left the entertainment company only after the chances of a CEO job faded, according to reports.

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During his tenure at Disney, Staggs held positions such as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and theme park director. Meyer, meanwhile, worked with Iger on the acquisition and played a key role in Disney’s streaming approach.

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Disney World's Cinderella Castle

Park Guests walk in front of the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statues at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Friday, July 14, 2023.Disney asks Florida judge to drop lawsuit filed by Governor Ron DeSantis Apoi (AP Photo/Jon Lau/AP Newsroom)

Iger said finding a replacement is a top priority for Disney. The company’s board of directors has already appointed a four-member search committee chaired by former Nike CEO Mark Parker.

Disney in preliminary talks with major sports leagues

Internal CEO candidates include Disney Entertainment co-chairman Dana Walden, director of movies Alan Bergman and director of theme parks Josh D’Amaro, according to sources.

Disney did not respond to initial inquiries from Fox Business.

The S&P 500 stock is up 19%, while its shares are up just 2% this year.


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