Bob Iger Taps Former Execs…to Burn it All Down?

Bob iger Kevin mayer Tom staggs
Credit: Jill Bivins, Disney, Blackstone

Bob Iger has made some bold moves since coming back to The Walt Disney Company but today may have just been one of his boldest. The two-time CEO has been under fire recently for comments made about the recent writers and actors strikes saying that they are “disturbing” to him and that the Union demands are “unreasonable.” He has also faced scrutiny for hinting that parts of the company may be sold off, which has reignited rumors that he may be planning to sell The Walt Disney Company.

disney ceo bob iger calls writers strike disturbing unrealistic actors strike sag aftra wga writers guild Bob iger Kevin mayer Tom staggs

Credit: nagi usano/ Flickr

Now he has brought in two former Disney executives who lend even more credibility to the rumors of a Disney fire-sale. Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs were once considered top contenders for the CEO position at Disney. Mayer was Chairman of Disney’s Direct to Consumer branch, and Tom Staggs was the Chief Financial Officer when Iger tapped Bob Chapek to fill the role as CEO. Both left in 2016 when they discovered they weren’t getting the job.

Some have speculated that this could be a sign that they are competing to be named Bob Iger’s successor. It makes sense, they were both considered front runners for the position the first time Iger had to make a choice. Both of them have extensive experience both with Disney and within the CEO position at various companies. Mayer went on to become CEO of TikTok and helped the social media app skyrocket itself into a household name. Staggs is currently co- CEO of Candle Media along with Mayer. However, the positions they were tasks they were brought back to perform suggests a different intent.

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Credit: ABC

Both Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs will step into advisory roles for Disney while it defines its strategy with its TV subsidiaries like ABC and ESPN. Not long ago Iger said that the company is considering selling assets like ABC, FX, Fredform, and potentially ESPN. It’s likely, especially given the sole focus of Candle Media is to buy up media assets, that they were brought back to find a strategy to sell. Iger has always been “Bob the Builder,” “Bob the Destroyer” is new territory and a role he likely needs assistance to fulfill.

Time will tell whether Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs are competing in some sort of “who will be next to wear the crown” game or whether their primary objective is to dismantle The Walt Disney Company piece by piece. Despite numerous box office disappointments and falling Park revenue, Disney is still a titan in the entertainment industry. The idea that Iger could be on a mission to break it apart still seems a bit far-fetched, though admittedly, less far-fetched than it did just two years ago.




About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.