Bob Iger will step down as chief executive of The Walt Disney Company in 2019, and claims this time it’s really happening.
The Disney CEO confirmed his exit plan at a Vanity Fair event yesterday, adding: “This time I mean it.”
That was in reference to previous exit plans, which include an aborted 2016 attempt than ended after an unsuccessful search for a successor.
Iger has been keen to wind down his long spell at the top of the Mouse House, with many linking him to a run for the presidential office in the US. However, he has put off the move in the interests of the business.
He signed an extension to his contract earlier this year, which was widely expected to be his last, and that is now official.
Iger has been CEO since 2005 when he succeeded Michael Eisner. He has since oversees the transformative acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm.
The exec began his career at US broadcaster ABC, which Disney acquired in 1995 for US$19 billion (€16 billion), and was made president of the network television group in 1993.
He later became Disney’s international chief before being named Eisner’s number two as Disney president and COO in 1999.
After Eisner was forced out in a boardroom battle in the mid-2000s, Iger was installed in the top job.
There is no obvious executive to replace him, and Disney’s board is believed to be in the process of sounding out candidates.
The news comes soon after Disney installed Rebecca Campbell as president of its EMEA operation.