Walt Disney Co. Executive who reportedly spearheaded the move to oust Bob Chapek now emerges as a contender for Disney CEO job

Dec 06, 2022 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday December 6, 2022 1:43pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Deadline is reporting today that Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy has emerged as a top contender for the job of Disney CEO when Bob Iger's contract is over in two years.

Deadline sources said, "Christine has always been a force to be reckoned with, but you have to put her on a list of top five possibilities after the last few weeks."

Disney's CFO was reportedly a key player in the removal of Bob Chapek as CEO. According to a report by FT, the rebellion began in the summer of 2022 and was led by executives loyal to former CEO Bob Iger. Disney Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, was one of those to allegedly approach the board.

Deadline suggests that McCarthy threatened to resign if Chapek was not immediately removed as CEO.

Christine McCarthy, now 67, was appointed CFO by Bob Iger in 2015, following a 15-year career as Disney's Treasurer. At the time, Iger said, "She is highly respected in the finance sector, and in this new role she will have even more impact on creating value for Disney shareholders."

Prior to joining Disney, McCarthy was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Imperial Bancorp from 1997 to 2000. She held various finance and planning positions at First Interstate Bancorp from 1981 to 1996, and was elected Executive Vice President in Finance for First Interstate in 1993. Ms. McCarthy completed her Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences at Smith College, where she received an award for excellence in botany, and later earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Anderson School at UCLA.

One of Bob Iger's key responsibilities during his return to Disney is to find his successor, and he doesn't have long to do it. Dana Walden, chair of Disney General Entertainment Content is expected to be a contender, along with Disney, Parks Experiences and Products Chairman, Josh D'Amaro.

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JoeCamel13 hours ago

Just a troll looking for views he is

Magic Crush Drop13 hours ago

He was the guy that said the board wouldn't remove Chapek 2 days before they remove Chapek.

EPCOT-O.G.1 day ago

I checked out when this cited Sean Nyberg as an authoritative source. Total clown.

Sirwalterraleigh1 day ago

Boy that’s ALOT of warm and fuzzy…even from a noted Iger hater like Mendelson Let’s just not mess with avatar being a “Disney hit”…because that old Hollywood stuff… …but this article acts like fox content fits Disney and it never really did. The MCU get could be big…but they haven’t touched it…but other than that? Nah…not the right jam. The reality is it would have benefited Comcast/peacock much more… But they didn’t want to pay…so Brian Roberts - a far better CEO (who Roy Disney loved) than his crappy company- outmaneuvered Iger and got him to pay WAY too much. It’s not said enough…the praetorians will slay anyone threatening emperor Bobustus 1…but it is true.

Sirwalterraleigh1 day ago

Yeah…we passed that exit on the highway a LONG time ago

DCBaker1 day ago

Here's the article - "Was Disney right to pay $71 billion for Fox’s entertainment empire? The sprawling properties it brought in-house helped fuel Disney+ and have given returning CEO Bob Iger a much-needed box office hit with “Avatar: The Way of Water” as he settles back into his old chair. But investors are scrutinizing spending much more closely than they used to. Disney still carries a hefty debt load from the Fox deal and Iger’s rebound tenure has a time limit as he searches once again for a successor. As adult-skewing movies struggle in theaters and Wall Street changes the rules in the streaming war, Disney’s purchase of Fox’s studio properties may prove to be Iger’s biggest blunder, dealing lasting damage to the company’s reputation among shareholders for media-merger magic. The idea that Disney could take any given property, get audiences to associate it with its megabrand and make it an even bigger cross-platform commercial success was part of how it sold Wall Street on the notion of total entertainment dominance. Now with a weaker stock currency, heavier debt load and skeptical investors, Iger has the harder challenge of squeezing performance out of an existing portfolio. He may not be able to buy his way out of this one. It’s worth remembering that Fox put itself up for sale back in late 2017, with the deal ultimately closing in 2019. Had Disney passed, runner-up Comcast — whose Peacock streamer is now projecting a $3 billion loss in 2023 — would own 100% of Hulu instead. Universal and Peacock, which just passed 20 million paid subscribers, would benefit from Fox’s IP riches. Disney “got a part of Hulu and a huge footprint in India thanks to the Star television empire,” said Sean Nyberg, an attorney who runs the “Disney Beat” podcast and owns shares of the company. “They also now own FX and National Geographic channel, which are major successes in a dying marketplace.” Conventional wisdom holds that even if Fox didn’t quite pan out as an endless fountain of streaming franchises and theatrical blockbusters, at least Disney kept the goodies away from rivals. Josh Spiegel, the author of “Pixar and the Infinite Past: Nostalgia and Pixar Animation,” disagreed: “Overpaying for Fox to keep it out of the hands of a competitor only made sense when Disney was at the peak of its pop culture domination.” The plan, as insiders tell it, was for the Fox studios to give Disney an edge in adult-skewing blockbusters like “Planet of the Apes” and Disney-compatible fare for kids like the “Ice Age” series that could strengthen its hand in streaming. Things didn’t go as planned. Even before the pandemic, in a trend visible when deal talk began, general moviegoers were shifting from theatrical viewing to streaming, particularly with adult-audience, non-event films. That hurt Fox films like “The Hate U Give,” “Bad Time at the El Royale,” “Stuber” and even not-so-must-see franchise flicks like “Dark Phoenix” and “Terminator: Dark Fate.” By 2018, 26% of the domestic box office was made up of the six biggest grossers. In 2019, the first year Disney owned Fox, Walt Disney’s total theatrical output was around $12.6 billion. Just $1.6 billion came from Fox and Searchlight under Disney. Seemingly valuable, kid-friendly Fox IP translated into streaming films like “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” “Home Sweet Home Alone” and “Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again” that, as one leading streaming viewership expert confirmed, few Disney+ subscribers watched. At first, Wall Street cheered Disney+’s subscriber growth. Then it changed its mind about the streaming war, prioritizing profitability. Disney’s stewardship of the Fox assets is a key question. With $45 billion in debt as of September, the productivity of its IP portfolio is critical. Yet the company seemed more interested in shutting down former Fox studios than nurturing them. Fox 2000 was shuttered in mid-2019 and after the poor theatrical performance of “Spies in Disguise” in late 2019, Blue Sky followed in 2021. Fears that Disney would buy Fox and strip it for parts — or Hulu streaming fodder — proved partially founded. “This was unlike Disney buying Marvel to make Marvel movies or buying Lucasfilm to make ‘Star Wars’ films,” said Spiegel. “Disney bought a ginormous entertainment studio — removing a competitor from the board — to acquire specific IPs only to discard the rest.” “Planet of the Apes,” “Avatar” and the Marvel brands like “Fantastic Four” and “Deadpool” remain among 20th Century’s few theatrically viable brands. Yes, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has passed $2.1 billion worldwide, and the Human Torch and Wolverine bring added value to the MCU. However, even with “The Simpsons” being the most popular show on Disney+ and Ryan Reynolds’ original, high concept “Free Guy” grossing a miraculous $331 million in the summer of 2021, that’s only so much value for $71 billion. (Or $57 billion: Disney argued in a presentation to investors recently that the sale of a stake in Sky for $15 billion in 2018 and around $2 billion in synergy transactions reduced the deal’s real cost.) “It’s like spending $25,000 on a hybrid or electric car,” noted a rival studio executive, “to save $3,000 a year on gas. The world may be a radically different place by the time you would have broken even and begun coming out ahead.” BoxOffice.com analyst Shawn Robbins argued that it’s still too soon to pass judgment on the purchase. “Films like Tom Hanks’ ‘A Man Called Otto’ show that even adults want feel-good or escapism films,” he noted, also highlighting Fox’s “The Greatest Showman,” which grossed $430 million in 2017 pre-Disney. That’s not even factoring in potential revenue opportunities from T-shirts featuring Mickey Mouse palling around with Kiri Sully, Deadpool heckling guests at Disney World or Kylo Ren teaming with Dr. Doom to host a trivia night on a Disney cruise ship. Iger’s always seemed to have good timing. Coming back as CEO weeks before “Avatar 2” clobbered the box office is just the latest example. But he doesn’t have much time, with the board and investors eager for him to name a successor. In his first tour as CEO, Iger made his name through big buys: Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm. Disney would take IP like the MCU, the “Star Wars” movies or the live-action remakes of Katzenberg-era Disney toons like “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” which were triumphs from another company or a prior regime, and supercharge it with the modern Disney marketing playbook. The weakness of Fox franchises under Disney seems to undercut that narrative. Iger could blame the last guy — Bob Chapek, whom he abruptly replaced in December — except that Chapek was his handpicked successor." https://www.thewrap.com/disney-fox-bob-iger-analysis/

DCBaker1 day ago

Nothing in that article quotes Bob Iger.

Elijah Abrams1 day ago

According to the recent article from The Wrap that was posted on this thread earlier, Iger admits that Disney’s acquisition of Fox was a mistake.

JoeCamel1 day ago

Its always about the princesses and princes, they run the wallet in the Disneyverse RIP MK

SteveAZee1 day ago

I think Roger Ebert said something to the effect of... the reason VHS became a huge industry was the repeat viewing among two audiences, children and those interested in 'adult' entertainment... due to the repeat viewings. I think Disney+ allows parents to entertain their kids not in spite of repeat viewings but because of it. That's the target audience, first and foremost. If parents are watching too, and the story has something for them as well, then even better.

UNCgolf1 day ago

The size of the national debt isn't really relevant to the health of the economy.

_caleb1 day ago

Whether you “trust” it or not, we’re at the “get to profitability” part of the plan. Hence, making sure all the content they own is making as much money as possible.

_caleb1 day ago

Different user profiles and content mixes.

Joel1 day ago

So we still Trusting the Plan or nah?