Disney CFO and potential Iger successor, Christine McCarthy, to step down

Jun 15, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Thursday June 15, 2023 4:39pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christine M. McCarthy will be stepping down from her role and taking a family medical leave of absence, and veteran Disney executive Kevin Lansberry, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will serve as the company’s Interim CFO, effective Saturday, July 1, it was announced today by Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. McCarthy will continue as a strategic advisor to the company during her leave and will assist with the process of identifying and onboarding a long-term successor to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

“Christine McCarthy is one of the most admired financial executives in America, and her impact on The Walt Disney Company during 23 years of dedicated service cannot be overstated,” Iger said. “Christine has served as a key strategic anchor during a period of great transformation, and she and I have discussed her desire to ensure an orderly and successful CFO succession in advance of the company’s transition to its next chief executive officer. She is stepping down from her CFO role as she takes family medical leave, but has graciously offered to move into an advisory position to assist her successor in assuming the duties she has so expertly handled these many years.”

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity Bob provided me to serve as CFO of this iconic company and am proud of the work my talented team has done to position Disney to capitalize on the business possibilities that lie ahead,” McCarthy said. “Although I am leaving the CFO role, I look forward to helping with the transition and will always be rooting for the success of my extended Disney family, who have shown time and again that determination, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence are an unstoppable combination.”

Lansberry has agreed to serve as Interim CFO while a thorough search of internal and external candidates is conducted for a permanent replacement. “Kevin has been with the company for more than three decades and is a trusted lieutenant to Christine,” Iger said. “Having expertly served as CFO at our largest business segment since 2017, he has my complete confidence, and I look forward to working with him during this transition.”

As Interim CFO, Lansberry will assume oversight of the company’s worldwide finance organization, which includes corporate alliances and partnerships, corporate real estate, corporate strategy and business development, enterprise controllership, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax, and treasury.

During his tenure at Disney Parks, Lansberry has held a variety of leadership roles in finance, business development, alliances, and operations. He assumed the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in 2017, which was expanded in 2018 to also include Consumer Products. In that role, Lansberry has been responsible for the financial planning and fiscal management of domestic and international theme parks and resorts, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, Walt Disney Imagineering, revenue management and analytics, global business development, and Consumer Products. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Ball State University and a Master of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College.

McCarthy joined Disney in 2000 as Treasurer and became Chief Financial Officer in 2015. Prior to joining Disney, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Imperial Bancorp from 1997–2000. She also held various executive positions in finance and planning at First Interstate Bancorp from 1981–1996. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Procter & Gamble Company and FM Global and is a trustee of the Carnegie Institution for Science. McCarthy has received numerous awards and has been named multiple times to Treasury & Risk’s “100 Most Influential People in Finance,” was the recipient of Treasury Today’s Adam Smith “Woman of the Year” Award in 2015, and was honored by the Entertainment Diversity Council in 2016 as one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment.”

“Among her many contributions to the company, one of the things I admire most about Christine is the generous mentorship she has provided to so many of her colleagues over the years, including countless women,” Iger said. “She has opened doors, created opportunities, and served as a role model for women at every level of business—not just at Disney, but around the world.”

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Basil of Baker StreetOct 13, 2023

Katzenberg's ego was the size of Jupiter but I still firmly believe he would have been a better CEO than Bob(s).

pdude81Oct 13, 2023

I believe that was a lawsuit settlement. Chapek was fired without cause so they had to pay him out. Katzenberg money was supposedly for bonuses he earned before they pushed him out..

LilofanOct 13, 2023

That was part of it when Katzenberg sued Disney then Disney settled for undisclosed amount so Katzenberg left with even more millions.

DranthOct 13, 2023

I may be misremembering but wasn't that money to Katzenberg part of The Little Mermaid contract mess?

LilofanOct 13, 2023

In 1997 Disney gave $117M to Katzenberg to go away. Chapek was fired and all he got was $23M.

DranthOct 13, 2023

Eisner borderline hated Katzenberg and drove him off so he was never an option.

Sweet tearsOct 13, 2023

There wasn’t anybody. Iger was the logical successor but Eisner was hesitant because he couldn’t read Iger and was somewhat threatened by him. He only committed after the exodus of Katzenberg et al

Mmoore29Oct 12, 2023

Wells certainly was a loss. But he was not an infallible figure who could never do wrong, he was not this sainted angel a lot of you make him out to be. He was just as capable of mistakes as Eisner was. But he certainly did so many things right and he and Eisner were a great partnership. Eisner and Iger could've been a great partnership too, if Eisner had done the ABC deal with the decision to make Iger his No. 2. If he'd done that before the time period when he talked to Ovitz, it would've worked out so much better for the company and for Eisner himself.

CliffOct 12, 2023

If Bob Iger says he is "exhausted" and "tired" right now from all of the pressure from investors, the board, Wall Street, lawsuits, Comcast/HULU, governors, Disney's customers...and now PELTZ?? I'm sorry to tell you Bob...but the next 6 months are going to be twice as hard as the last 6 months. Your job is about to get WAY worse....from EVERY direction. You better buy cases of energy drinks and Zanex. Maybe it's finally time to let it go?

Serpico JonesOct 12, 2023

Nelson Peltz is an expert at blowing up boardrooms and installing his own puppets. He’s done it at almost every company that he’s launched a fight against.

flynnibusOct 12, 2023

Take a breather man... Disney knows they make money with content by driving activity OUTSIDE of D+ itself as well. Merchandising, licensing, etc. And then on top of what they get now, they have an ASSET they can keep and keep using to drive different activities. There is much more to a content creator's revenue model than simple 'box office' or immediate ad-sales. The content creators know this.

CliffOct 11, 2023

On any content that goes to Disney Plus. Its VERY hard to say any title made money on Disney Plus. Everything they place there like Loki, She Hulk, Mandalorian...etc. doesnt generate sales numbers for itself on D+. Their job is to boost "subscriber" numbers. So we have no real profit & loss metrics for these things...unless they get licensed to another company or have actual "box office" sales to display. Its very hard for Disney to spend 200 million on Asoka and know if THAT show attracted 200 million worth of monthly subscribers over X years. All these show costs are dumped into D+ with no actual way if they each carry their financial weight. If Disney never made Asoka and sat on that 200 million...would D+ subscribers numbers be exaclty the same "without" that show? Maybe? Probably? If the answer is "yes" and Asoka does not move the monthly subscriber needle?...than the case for spending 200 million on that show is not good.

Mmoore29Oct 11, 2023

If you have your way, they'll go through five CEOs in five years, and the market will punish Disney by taking its stock back to the Eisner era lows. Disney will be ripe for a hostile takeover from Comcast yet again. And this time, Roy and Stan Gold are not there to save it. Abigail and her brothers aren't going to ride to the rescue; they want nothing to do with the company. Disney will go to irrelevant, if not outright dead, and then you'll be BEGGING for Iger again.

seascapeOct 11, 2023

I believe the net payment was around $40 billion but you are right everyone talks about the price they paid for Fox but exclude the payment they got for Sky and the RSNs and other assests they sold.