Disney CFO Jay Rasulo May Not Extend Contract Before Jan. 31 Expiration

Jay Rasulo

The executive is a candidate for COO along with Thomas Staggs.

Tucked away in Disney's latest regulatory filing revealing executive compensation is a reminder that CFO Jay Rasulo's contract expires at the end of the month.

While it's unusual for such a high-ranking executive to delay a decision as to whether he'll remain with the company or not, insiders say it makes sense in Rasulo's case, given he is presumably a candidate for COO along with parks and resorts chairman Thomas Staggs.

Disney has been operating without a COO since  Bob Iger was named CEO in 2005 and Iger has said he intends to name a COO by this spring, with the presumption being that whoever is promoted will be groomed for the CEO slot when Iger's contract runs out at the end of June, 2018.

Rasulo, therefore, could choose to remain with Disney without a contract rather than negotiate a new, short-term one. If he is promoted to COO it will come with a new long-term contract and if he is not promoted he will decide then whether to remain as CFO or explore other options.

In Friday's filing, it was disclosed that Iger, 63, earned $46.5 million in fiscal 2014, up from $34.3 million a year earlier. Rasulo, who, like Staggs, is in his 50s, was the second highest paid executive at Disney, earning $16.2 million, up from $10.7 million. Staggs is not considered an executive officer so his compensation was not disclosed.

The contest for COO is tough to handicap given the praise heaped on both executives over the years. Plus, Staggs and Rasulo essentially swapped jobs in 2010 so each of them have similar experiences within the company.

Disney noted in Friday's filing that Rasulo's hefty 51 percent increase in compensation was in part owed to bigger target bonuses recommended by Iger to reflect Rasulo's accomplishments.

The filing lauds Rasulo for "effective management," "leadership of multiple initiatives," "negotiation of the recapitalization of Disneyland Paris" and helping with the acquisition and integration of Maker Studios.