Key players in the Disney leadership drama
Disney has enjoyed its longest uninterrupted reign as the world’s No. 1 entertainment and media property maker for almost half a century, a period that has seen the rise and fall of some of the most famous and influential people in entertainment, both on film and the screen.
As Disney’s top execs are weighed down by an uncertain future and a series of recent corporate and media-related scandals, a handful of the company’s most powerful individuals have managed to stay on the right side of the company’s power structure. Here’s a look at some of the key players in the Disney leadership drama.
Tom Rothman. Disney’s top officer has led the company since the company was launched in Anaheim in 1971 by the late Walt Disney and his late brother S.I. Disney. Rothman’s tenure, from the company’s early years as a small, struggling animation studio to its current position as the world’s strongest media company, has been filled with highs and lows that have helped define the Disney brand. After Disney was sold to private investors in 1992, Rothman became Disney’s chief executive officer. Rothman presided over Disney’s ascent to the No. 1 ranking, which was met with criticism and allegations that the company’s conservative approaches to its business were hurting its image and was under fire for what many perceived as a less-than-ideal management team of outsiders who did not have the Disney values. Rothman would later resign amid accusations that the company’s top-level managers had used Walt Disney as a platform to promote their career ambitions. He has been replaced by Bob Iger, Walt Disney’s son and now the company’s chairman.
Bob Iger. Iger was named the company’s chief executive officer in February 2012, but he took the position just two months after Rothman resigned. The decision made Iger the highest-ranking official in the corporate family directly descended from Walt Disney to have been named Disney chairman. The company’s board of directors tapped him to take over as CEO after Disney’s 2012 annual meeting with