Is a Bob Iger Successor Hiding in Plain Sight?

Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO, Mattel Inc., speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on October 19, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
December 28, 2023

For a decade now, Bob Iger and the Disney board have constantly complained that there’s nobody—nobody!—with the right background and skill set to take over as C.E.O. of the company. Disney is so unique, they’ve told us, and Iger’s mix of business and creative acumen so special, that he’s basically been forced to stay in Walt’s chair since 2005, minus that brief and disastrous Bob Chapek experiment. 

Iger, who returned in November 2022 at age 71 with a promise to find a quick successor and leave after two years, served only eight months before his contract was extended again, through 2026, in part because—all together now—Disney needed more time to replace him. “I remain intensely focused on a successful transition,” Iger said then, in a statement believed by exactly nobody. Mark Parker, the board chair, added that his special blue-ribbon succession committee was working super-duper hard, and that the Iger extension was “allowing ample time to position a new C.E.O. for long-term success.”