With Marvel rocking the box-office, the famous theme-park expanding and ABC taking off in the ratings, it’s hard to argue Disney’s decision to extend Robert A. Iger’s contract as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through June 30, 2018.
“Bob Iger is the architect of Disney’s current success, with a proven history of delivering record financial results for the company quarter after quarter and year after year,” said Orin C. Smith, Independent Lead Director of the Disney Board. “Under his tenure, Disney has reached unprecedented creative and financial heights, driving the stock price to record levels and creating extraordinary value for shareholders. He has transformed Disney’s culture and empowered its businesses to effectively capitalize on evolving markets and new technologies, making Disney a company that doesn’t merely embrace change, but leads it.
“By setting a clear business strategy based on producing high-quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion—and then over-delivering against that strategy—Mr. Iger has repeatedly proven himself to be a highly effective leader able to create long-term shareholder value. Since he became CEO in 2005, total shareholder return has increased to 311%, compared to just 92% for the S&P 500, and Disney’s market capitalization has risen to $150 billion from $48.4 billion.
Mr. Smith continued: “Mr. Iger’s vision and strategy for the company led to the successful acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, the resurgence of Disney animation, and the dramatic expansion of its parks and resorts around the world, positioning the company for continued long-term growth. Given Mr. Iger’s outstanding record to date, it is obvious that shareholders and the company will be best served by his continued leadership, which is why the Board of Directors has asked him to extend his contract for two years, to June 30, 2018. I am pleased to report that Mr. Iger has accepted. Disney has an incredibly strong senior management team, and the Board is confident in the leadership talent available for succession planning.”
“I’ve had the privilege of being the CEO of this great company for nine years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue through June 2018,” Mr. Iger said. “I’m very excited about what lies ahead, including the release of our Star Wars films and the launch of Shanghai Disneyland, and I’m honored to continue working with our talented management team and the 175,000 dedicated people who make this company what it is today.”
The extension of Mr. Iger’s contract through June 30, 2018 maintains the same annual compensation terms as his existing contract. In addition, Mr. Iger will have the opportunity to earn a performance-based retention bonus if certain financial performance goals are met over a five-year period ending with fiscal year 2018. Details will be filed tomorrow in a Report on Form 8-K.
Since Mr. Iger, 63, became CEO, The Walt Disney Company has repeatedly been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2014); one of “America’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2014); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2014); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013).