Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors on Thursday extended for an additional year the contract with Chief Executive Robert Iger.
Iger had planned to step down from the Burbank entertainment and media giant next year but with no successor in place, the board believed the company and its shareholders would best be served by having him stay on until July 2, 2019.
Iger said he was honored to have been asked to stay.
“Even with the incredible success the company has achieved, I am confident that Disney’s best days are still ahead, and I look forward to continuing to build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition,” Iger said in a prepared statement.
Former Chief Operating Office Thomas Staggs was considered the likely successor to Iger until he abruptly left the company in April last year.
Iger has been head of Disney since September 2005. During his tenure, Disney has been on a strong growth trajectory. The company got in early on distributing content via Apple Inc.’s iTunes, bought Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and LucasFilm Ltd., built a theme park in China, saw revenues grow from $34.3 billion to $52.5 billion and the share price hit $100 for the first time ever.
The 66-year-old Iger originally announced he would retire in March 2015. That was later extended to June 2016 to coincide with when he would step down as board chairman. In October 2014, he extended his contract an additional two years as the Disney board sought to keep Iger in place based on the company’s financial and creative success.
Disney shares closed up 16 cents, or less than a percent, to $112.24 on the New York Stock Exchange.