June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Walt Disney Chief Operating Officer Thomas Staggs Leaving Company

Disney_logo-2Thomas Staggs, The Walt Disney Co.’s chief operating officer who was considered a prime candidate to replace CEO Robert Iger when he retires, will instead be leaving the company, Disney announced today.

Staggs will step down as COO on May 6, but will remain as a special adviser to Iger through the end of the fiscal year.

“Tom has been a great friend and trusted colleague for more than 20 years,” Iger said. “He’s made important contributions to this company, earning wide respect across the organization for his achievements and personal integrity. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, immensely grateful for the privilege of working with him, and confident that he will be enormously successful in whatever opportunity he chooses.”

Staggs has been with Disney for 26 years, moving from a strategic planning post to chief financial officer. He was promoted to COO in February 2015 — a move that led many to speculate that he was being groomed to take over for Iger, who is expected to step down on June 30, 2018.

Staggs’ departure leaves it unclear who might be in line for Iger’s job, and whether the company will hire a new leader from outside Disney. According to a Disney statement, the company’s board of directors “will broaden the scope of its succession planning process to identify and evaluate a robust slate of candidates for consideration.”

No reason for Staggs’ departure was given. The New York Times, citing unnamed Disney sources, reported that some board members questioned whether the 55-year-old Staggs had the right vision for leading the company, and his departure was a mutual decision.

“Disney truly stands alone, not only because of the company’s phenomenal creativity, but also because of the thousands of remarkable people who make it such an extraordinary place,” Staggs said. “It’s been a privilege to work with them and be inspired by their creativity and commitment. It’s also been a great experience to work with Bob during this dynamic era of unprecedented growth and transformation.

“I remain grateful for that opportunity, and I’m confident that Disney’s future will be just as exciting as its legendary past,” he said.

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