|DISNEY CEO BOB IGER|
Well it looks like Disney CEO Bob Iger will be staying on longer past his 2018 departure date. Apparently the Disney board “can’t find” anyone to groom for the top job. But perhaps there is something else at play here. Perhaps Disney’s board is trying to find someone exactly like Bob Iger. Perhaps they are overthinking the whole process and the right successor is right there in the company. The board has placed Mr. Iger on such a high pedestal that it is hard for them to accept anyone else which is a problem. Any new CEO that comes in will no doubt build on the successes Mr. Iger has had during his tenure, but will also want to make his/her mark on the company as well. It is hard to believe that within Disney, there is no one who jumps out at the board or even Iger himself to takeover one day. Two years ago then parks chief Tom Staggs stood out and was put in the number two spot which made him the heir apparent to Mr. Iger. But then he abruptly resigned leaving the whole succession planning in limbo.
You can’t tout how talented the company’s leadership is but show no confidence in any them to lead the entire company one day. Bob Iger once said that “The most important quality that the next CEO of the Walt Disney Company
must have is the ability to appreciate the value of great creators and
the creative process”. Really? That’s it? This is the most important quality the next CEO of Disney needs to have? So why is it so hard to find someone? Surely many if not all of the executives inside Disney have this very important quality, they work for Disney! And if not inside the company, then there are multiple individuals we could name that all have that quality of “appreciating the value of great creators and the creative process”. The Disney board is probably just afraid of change and doesn’t know how to accept the reality that Bob Iger will not be CEO forever. The time for Mr. Iger’s exit couldn’t be more perfect. Sure ESPN struggling to hold on to relevance but Disney is doing well and it’s always good to go out on a high note instead of leaving when things start to go south. Disney’s board must let go off of their Iger obsession and truly start vetting individuals inside and outside the company to build a short list to select Disney’s next CEO. There are many viable candidates, but Disney’s board is simply not looking.
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