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Disney Shares Climb as Two Former Execs Return to Advise on Company Strategy

Key Takeaways

  • Disney shares gained as the entertainment giant reportedly brought back two former execs to advise CEO Bob Iger.
  • Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs are expected to consider the future of Disney’s legacy TV operations.
  • Iger has suggested TV assets, including ESPN, could be sold off.

Shares of The Walt Disney Company (DIS) rose 3.2% on Monday following reports that the entertainment company brought back two former top executives to advise CEO Bob Iger on a potential shakeup.

Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs are said to be consulting Iger on addressing the firm’s legacy TV businesses, including the ESPN sports network. Iger indicated in a recent interview he was considering selling off those assets.

Mayer and Staggs are also expected to work with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro to look at strategic options for the network.  

Shares of The Walt Disney Company sank to their lowest level since 2014 in late December, and while they bounced back early in the year, they faded and are up only slightly for 2023.

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Iger returned as CEO in November after his replacement, Bob Chapek, was fired after a tumultuous two-year tenure, including a spat between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the company’s policies on social issues. He had previously been CEO from 2005 to 2020 and worked closely with Mayer and Skaggs. The two, considered top candidates to succeed Iger, left the firm to start Candle Media.

The board recently extended Iger’s contract through 2026 as it continues to search for a new CEO. 

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