Robert Iger will step down as chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co. in March 2015 as part of a contract extension with the company’s board of directors.

The extension, announced Oct. 7, also makes Iger chairman of the board in March 2012 upon the retirement of John E. Pepper, Jr. Iger will stay in that position through June 2016.

The Disney board wanted to secure Iger through 2016 to provide for an effective management transition and continuity of corporate strategy, the company said in a release.

Iger, 60, became CEO of the Burbank-based entertainment and media conglomerate in September 2005. In that position Iger went to work to get Disney content available through emerging consumer portals, such as iTunes. He also oversaw the company’s acquisition of the Pixar animation studio in January 2006.

He was committed to increasing long-term value for Disney shareholders, Iger said in a prepared statement. "I am confident we will continue to do so through the successful execution of our core strategic priorities: the creation of high quality, branded content and experiences, the use of technology, and creating growth in numerous and exciting international markets," Iger said.

The new contract, effective Oct. 1, gives Iger a base annual salary of $2.5 million with a bonus award based on Disney’s financial performance.