The entertainment press speculates (yet again) on who will succeed Robert Iger when he retires at the end of 2021:
Some observers now believe the inside track [for Disney CEO's successor] may belong to Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international who is expected to appear at the convention to showcase Disney+. That Iger has called the upcoming streamer the "most important product" to launch since he became CEO in 2005 speaks volumes about the stakes for Mayer, 57, and how the performance of Disney+ could influence who takes over when Iger retires at the end of 2021. ...
Iger [might] extend his run again, [and] the succession bake-off also could change dramatically, as it did when former CFO-COO Thomas Staggs — once positioned as the primary contender — left the company in 2016. ...
It's difficult for Top Dogs to give up all the trappings of Top Dogdom when announced retirement dates draw near. I mean, wave goodbye to all that money and power? All those corporate aircraft? And the smiling faces that tell you agreeable, ego-boosting things every time you walk into a room?
Hard to let all those pleasant, day-to-day realities go.
There has been no Disney chieftain, outside of '70s corporate head Card Walker, who's left voluntarily. Walt and Roy Disney died. Ron Miller was pushed out by Disney's board of directors. And Michael Eisner got a strong "no confidence" vote from Roy E. Disney and a large number of other Disney shareholders.
But even after the vote, Mr. Eisner stalled around for as long as he could.
And so we come to Robert Iger, who has already made a minor career of delaying retirement. (To date, his exit has been pushed back twice. And he will be close to 71 when his current contract expires at the end of 2021.)
My guess is there's a 50/50 chance Mr. Iger will leave when the trumpet blows a third time. Kevin Mayer, the current top candidate for Robert Iger's job, could suddenly be found wanting and (surprise!) Mr. Iger's contract would be extended yet again.
And Robert Iger would no doubt stay on "reluctantly" with much sighing and head shaking. Because, after all. Why give up money, prestige and company planes before you absolutely have to?