It appears that Disney will have a new CEO heading into the next decade. Current Disney CEO, Bob Iger, announced this week that he will be stepping down in 2019 when his current contract expires.
Of course, this isn’t Iger’s first attempt at leaving his position. He has been rumored to be stepping down a number of times over the past few years, and was reportedly close last year, but decided to re-up because his presumed heir-apparent, Tom Staggs, unexpectedly left Disney.
While there is very little known about who Iger’s successor will be, we do know they will be very busy from day one. Coming into Disney in 2019 means they will be jumping into the middle of 50th birthday preparations for Walt Disney World; the new Disney movie streaming service will have just launched; and the latest Star Wars trilogy will be very close to wrapping up (December 2019). There will be no shortage of need for leadership and vision at that time.
As for Iger, there is wide speculation that the 2019 target coincides with the political calendar and the ramp-up period for the 2020 election cycle. Iger has long-been rumored to be eyeing politics after his Disney days are over, so this will be interesting to watch.
Until then, there is much still for Iger to accomplish including fixing the ESPN situation, overseeing massive park construction projects, an overhaul of the Disney retail approach and a number of blockbuster movies on the horizon. We wish him best of luck now and in his post-Disney days.