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Disney CEO Bob Iger Sidesteps Succession Talk: ‘I Don’t Currently Have Any Plans to Extend’ Contract

“We’re sorry about what came to pass” with former COO Thomas Staggs, Iger says

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said he “currently” has no plan to extend his contract beyond its June 2018 expiration, amid uncertainty about the company’s succession following the recent resignation of his heir apparent.

“I don’t currently have any plans to extend beyond the expiration date,” Iger said Tuesday during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s fiscal second quarter results.

After just 14 months as COO, Thomas Staggs unexpectedly announced his plans to resign last month and threw the company’s presumed succession plan into disarray.

“Obviously, Tom was a valued colleague and a friend of mine, and so we’re sorry about what came to pass,” Iger said Tuesday during the call.

He said that the company’s board “is very actively engaged in the succession process” and that it believe it has “ample time” to identify a successor before he retires.

Staggs, a 26-year veteran of Disney, had beaten out the company’s financial chief Jay Rasulo for the COO spot but he had apparently lost the board’s confidence. His departure, along with Rasulo’s in 2015, leaves the company without any obvious internal candidates to take over for Iger.

When it disclosed Staggs’ departure a month ago, the company didn’t provide a reason for the exit. The board issued a statement that they planned to “broaden the scope of its succession planning process to identify and evaluate a robust slate of candidates for consideration.”

The sudden shakeup in Disney’s success left investors and Wall Street analysts at a loss for what to anticipate for the company’s leadership long term.

Shares in Disney were down 4.9 percent at $101.35 in after-hours trading at 5:45 p.m. ET on a rare quarter with weaker-than-expected earnings.