Disney locks its leadership

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Disney has locked in the services of president and CEO Robert Iger and CFO Thomas Staggs through 2013 under new five-year contracts.

The company's board cited the company's strong financial growth, creative successes, the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios and new digital initiatives under Iger's leadership as key reasons for his early extension, which was unveiled Friday.

Iger's previous contract would have expired Sept. 30, 2010. The new contract will end Jan. 31, 2013, and guarantees him a base salary of at least $2 million a year through 2013. He also is eligible for annual bonuses of $10 million or more.

"Bob is a talented and visionary leader under whom Disney has posted increases in growth and profitability that have consistently exceeded expectations," chairman John Pepper Jr. said. "We are confident he will continue to lead this extraordinary company and talented management team to new levels of creative and business success."

Iger became CEO in September 2005. In the two fiscal years since then, Disney has posted record revenue, net income and earnings per share, the company touted in a statement.

It also cited the creation of "global franchises like 'High School Musical,' 'Hannah Montana' and 'Cars' " as well as expansion in international markets, particularly in China, India and Russia, as key successes.

The new contract for Staggs, who also serves as senior executive vp, runs to April 1, 2013.

"Tom is an outstanding executive whose advice and counsel I value greatly," Iger said. "He has done a great job of strengthening Disney's balance sheet, its cash flow and overall financial management, helping us to deliver shareholder value."

Before the news of the contract extensions, Disney shares closed up 2.8% at $30.66. The stock has traded between $26.30 and $36.79 during the past year.
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