The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) released a statement on Monday that their Chief Financial Officer, James Rasulo, is stepping down at the end of the month with speculated cause being that he was passed over four months ago to be CEO Robert Iger’s second-in-command. Mr. Rasulo’s resignation will be effective at the end of the month at which point he will serve in an advisory capacity to help Mr. Iger with the transition. Disney has a history of promoting internally, as Mr. Rasulo joined the company in 1986 before eventually becoming in CFO in 2019 after holding the position of chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
“I sit down with my team every six months, to see if people I had on track are still advancing,” said Mr. Rasulo in a December interview with CFO Journal. “We take it extremely seriously. Just as we talked about investment for long-run, we think about the team that’s going to manage that for the long-run.”
The following month, Mr. Thomas Staggs, who had run the company’s parks and resorts since 2010 as well, was named the COO, which positions him as the leading candidate for the future of Disney. This effectively knocked Rasulo, Staggs’ main competitor for the position, out of the race. Robert Iger has said he will step down at the end of his current contract in June 2018 which gives Mr. Staggs three years to prove to Disney’s board that he is the right choice as successor.
The company is currently searching for a successor to the CFO position, which is likely to include several internal candidates. The current front-runners are Kevin Mayer, executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development, and Christine McCarthy, treasurer and EVP of corporate real estate.