The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, ABC News and ESPN, among numerous other media properties, has unveiled an unusual succession plan for CEO Bob Iger. Under the deal, Iger will step down as CEO in 2015, at which time he will become executive chairman of the board.
In the immediate term, the deal keeps Iger with the company for an additional three years beyond his current contract, and the executive will become chairman of the board in early March, when current chairman John Pepper retires. Once Iger becomes executive chairman in 2015, he will lead the search for his successor.
In a filing with the SEC, Disney said that the decision was made due to Pepper’s decision to retire, and the end of Iger’s contract:
“The confluence of these two events led the Board to conclude that extending Mr. Iger’s employment contract now and naming him as Chairman of the Board upon Mr. Pepper’s retirement would put in place an effective plan for the future transition of leadership that would best serve the interest of the Company and its shareholders.”
The SEC filing explaining the decision can be viewed here.