Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger will step down in two years, according to media reports.
Iger, speaking on Tuesday at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, said he will leave as head of the Burbank entertainment and media giant in mid-2019.
“This time I mean it,” Iger was quoted as saying during the summit. “It’s time.”
The Disney board in March extended Iger’s contract through July 2, 2019.
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, through 2018, as the Disney board sought to keep Iger in place based on the company’s financial and creative success.
Disney shares closed down 24 cents, or less than a percent, to $100.55 on the New York Stock Exchange.