Disney’s Bob Iger to cede CEO, chairman posts in 2015

LOS ANGELES ― Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger will step down in March 2015 after less than 10 years at the helm of the largest U.S. media and entertainment conglomerate.

Iger will hold the positions of chairman and chief executive officer through March 31, 2015, Disney said on Friday.

Iger succeeded Michael Eisner as Disney’s CEO in October 2005, which means his tenure as chief executive will be less than a decade long. Eisner’s reign at Disney, which ranks among the longest and most storied — both for better and worse — in CEO history, lasted 21 years, from 1984 until 2005.

After vacating the CEO role, Iger, 60, will continue to serve as executive chairman of Disney’s board through June 30, 2016, the company said in a statement.

The company did not mention possible successors, but industry speculation has centered on Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo and the head of Disney’s huge theme parks and resorts division, Tom Staggs.

Rasulo and Staggs previously held each other’s positions, but Iger made them switch roles in 2009, in part to groom them for the CEO role by exposing them to different parts of the Magic Kingdom’s big business.

Shares in Disney were down 1 percent at $31.70 in afternoon trade.