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Iger Leaves Door Open to Contract Extension

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said he hopes to retire when he had originally planned in 2018, but will stay on if it is determined to be in the best interests of the company.

Iger announced last year that he planned to retire at the end of 2018. But a lot has changed since then – its flagship ESPN network continues to bleed subscribers and Disney’s board lost confidence in his original pick to succeed him – former COO Tom Staggs. Staggs resigned in April 2106, which has thrown the process into disarray.

Yesterday a report in the Wall Street Journal said sources indicated that Iger would be open to extending his contract yet again (he had first planned to retire in 2015). On a conference call with analysts to discuss first quarter results, he did just that.

One the call Iger said his decision to retire in 2018 was a personal one, but noted that he is also personally invested in Disney, having been an employee for 43 years and CEO for almost 12.

“I’m going to do what is in the best interests of this company, which is something that the board is clearly going to help determine,” Iger said. “While I am confident that my sucessor is going to be chosen on a timely basis and chosen well, if it is in the best interest of the company to extend my term, I am open to that. There is nothing specific to announce.”