One “Out-of-the-Box Candidate” Could REPLACE Disney CEO Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger is good at a lot of things. He has a talent for acquisitions (as seen by Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox during his first tenure as CEO) and is popular among many Disney fans. However, if you look at Iger’s weaknesses, choosing a successor seems to be at the top of the list.

©Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Iger struggled to choose a successor the first time he left the position of Disney’s CEO, ultimately selecting Bob Chapek to take his place. It was reported that Iger later regretted that decision, and Chapek left the position just a couple of short years later. Now, Iger is back at the top, and he’s facing a lot of pressure from the company’s Board of Directors to find another successor. Could one surprising candidate be at the top of his list?

Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is on the shortlist of candidates to replace Bob Iger as Disney’s CEO.

©Fox via Getty Images

Although Disney has not confirmed the news, Gasparino stated that “the search to replace Disney CEO Bob Iger has officially started with a short list that includes some usual suspects and one out-of-the box candidate from the world of sports” (Fox cited “two people with direct knowledge of the matter”). Adam Silver is set to retire as the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association in two years, which would work out in terms of timing with the end of Bob Iger’s contract with Disney.

Silver reportedly has “a long-standing relationship with both Iger and Disney,” having worked closely with Disney-owned ESPN. Silver also worked in entertainment prior to his role as NBA Commissioner, as the President of NBA Entertainment.

©Fox via Getty Images

Although some investors have called for Disney to sell ESPN, the company does not seem to be interested in dropping the sports network. Considering the NBA Commissioner for the position of CEO seems to confirm that Disney intends to keep its relationship with ESPN.

Silver has seen significant success in his current role, with the NBA experiencing increased profitability in ticket sales, merchandise sales, and networking deals.

©Fox via Getty Images

Some other frontrunners for the position of Disney CEO apparently include Kevin Mayer, who is a former Disney executive and current CEO of Candle Media, and Dana Walden, who is currently Disney’s entertainment co-chair. Mayer was previously Disney’s chairman of the direct-to-consumer segment of the company,  responsible for launching Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu+. He was also the CEO of TikTok for a short time. Walden has more experience in media and entertainment, having worked as the CEO of Fox Television Group.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Other possible candidates for the position include Alan Bergman (the other co-chair of entertainment, with Walden), Josh D’Amaro (chairman of parks and resorts), and Jimmy Pitaro (president of ESPN).

Josh D’Amaro, Head of Disney Parks and Resorts

Iger isn’t alone in his search for a successor. Mark Parker, who will be Disney’s next Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Board of Directors (following Susan Arnold’s departure) has been tasked with finding CEO Bob Iger’s replacement. Parker will head up “a newly created Succession Planning Committee of the Board, which will advise the Board on the CEO succession planning, including review of internal and external candidates.”


Iger commented on the change, sharing, “Mark Parker’s vision, incredible depth of experience and wise counsel have been invaluable to Disney, and I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role, along with our other directors, as we chart the future course for this amazing company.”

©Reuters | Disney CEO Bob Iger

The “top priority” of the new Succession Planning Committee is to “identify and prepare a successful CEO successor, and that process has already begun.” It’s clear that Parker and the Board will be wasting no time when it comes to developing a plan, and they may have that shortlist already drafted.

We’ll continue to watch for more updates on Iger’s quest to find a successor as Disney’s CEO. Check out these posts for more updates on Iger and Disney:

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Who do you think should replace Bob Iger when he leaves? Let us know in the comments.

The post One “Out-of-the-Box Candidate” Could REPLACE Disney CEO Bob Iger first appeared on the disney food blog.


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