Robert A. Iger‘s contract with the Walt Disney Company will be extended until June 2016 as part of the Company’s ongoing succession planning, the Disney Board of Directors revealed today.
From October 1st, Iger will take on the role of chairman as well as chief executive officer, as a result of Chairman John E. Pepper’s retirement from the board at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting in March 2012.
It is thought that Iger will remain in the positions of chairman and chief executive officer until the end of March 2015, at which time a new CEO will be named. Following this appointment, Iger will serve as executive chairman until the 30th June 2016; his current contract was due to expire on January 13th 2013.
The Disney board have taken this action in order to secure Iger’s leadership until 2016 and to “provide for an effective, seamless succession and management transition and a continuity of the company’s corporate strategy to create long-term value for shareholders”. An independent lead director will be selected at the time when Iger assumes the role of Chair.
"As one of the most iconic brands and preeminent companies in the world, The Walt Disney Company requires a leader with the proven ability to drive creative and financial success in a dynamic world. For more than six years, Bob Iger has proven he has that ability at the highest level, " said Mr. Pepper.
"The Board is delighted that the company has been able to secure the longer-term continuation of Bob’s unique blend of experience and leadership skills. His ability to bring together the many parts of Disney’s business against a clear and proven strategy, while instilling a culture of innovation, collaboration and discipline, will continue to serve the long-term interests of shareholders."
"I’m privileged and grateful to lead The Walt Disney Company."
Pepper added: "It is for these reasons – continuing the strategic direction and growth of the company while ensuring a smooth transition process to the next generation of leadership – the Board has determined that Bob should assume the additional role of Chairman."
Iger said: "No CEO could have a better counselor than John — his impeccable integrity, vast experience, and knowledge and appreciation of Disney have been invaluable. I want to thank him for his many contributions, and his support of our people and our strategy including two of the company’s most significant acquisitions in recent years Pixar and Marvel."
One of "America’s Most Admired Companies"
"I’m privileged and grateful to lead The Walt Disney Company and our talented, dedicated team at this exciting time, " Iger added. "I’m committed to increasing long-term value for shareholders and am confident we will continue to do so through the successful execution of our core strategic priorities: the creation of high quality, branded content and experiences, the use of technology, and creating growth in numerous and exciting international markets."
Iger has led Disney to record operating results since his appointment as president and chief executive in 2005. This has helped to position the company for the future and Disney’s total shareholder return since Iger’s arrival is five times higher than that of the S&P 500.
“During Iger’s leadership tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of "America’s Most Admired Companies" by Fortune magazine (2009, 2010, 2011); one of the "World’s Most Respected Companies" by Barron’s (2009, 2010); and one of the "Best Places to Launch a Career" by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010), ” Disney stated.
Iger will receive an annual base salary of $2.5 million, but is not to get any up-front equity; instead his annual bonus will be calculated on Disney’s performance. He will also be entitled to an annual long-term equity incentive of options and restricted stock units, which again will be dependent on Disney’s future financial performance.