Disney CFO Christine McCarthy Steps Down, Citing Family Medical Leave

The longtime exec will continue as a strategic advisor to the company while executive VP Kevin Lansberry assumes the role in the interim

Christine McCarthy, CFO of The Walt Disney Company, attends the "Thor: Love and Thunder" world premiere (Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
Christine McCarthy, CFO of The Walt Disney Company, attends the "Thor: Love and Thunder" world premiere (Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Christine McCarthy is stepping down as the Walt Disney Company’s chief financial officer and taking a family medical leave of absence. McCarthy will be replaced in the interim by Kevin Lansberry, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Parks, Experiences and Products division, effective July 1.

“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,” CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “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. 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.”

McCarthy will continue as a strategic adviser to the company during her leave and will assist with the process of an “internal and external” search to identify and onboard a long-term successor to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Her last day will be June 30, 2024, and her compensation will remain unchanged. In 2022, McCarthy earned $20.24 million in total compensation, including a $1.98 million base salary, $8.94 million in stock awards, $3.38 million in option awards, $5.82 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $124,833 in “other” compensation.

“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 added. “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.”

McCarthy joined the company as a treasurer in 2000 before being elevated to the CFO role in 2015. In addition to working closely with Iger, McCarthy continued to serve under his successor and later predecessor Bob Chapek, who assumed the role in 2020 and was ousted in November.

Major events during her tenure at the company have included the launch of Disney+ in 2019, the company’s proxy battle with activist investor Nelson Peltz which ended in February, and an ongoing restructuring designed to cut $5.5 billion in costs.

Prior to Disney, she served as Imperial Bancorp’s executive vice president and CFO from 1997 to 2000 and held various executive positions in finance and planning at First Interstate Bancorp from 1981 to 1996.

Lansberry has worked at Disney for over 35 years, holding a wide range of roles in finance, business development, alliances and operations. Since 2018, Lansberry has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company’s Parks, Experiences and Products business.

Prior to that, Lansberry served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, where he’s 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. In addition, he previously served as senior vice president of revenue management and analytics for the parks and resorts segment and senior vice president and chief financial officer of the domestic and international businesses.

As interim CFO, Lansberry is tasked with overseeing the entertainment giant’s worldwide finance organization, including corporate alliances and partnerships, real estate, strategy, business development, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax and treasury.

“Kevin has been with the company for more than three decades and is a trusted lieutenant to Christine,” Iger said. “He has my complete confidence, and I look forward to working with him during this transition.”

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Lansberry will receive an annualized compensation package, prorated for the portion of the fiscal year served, consisting of a $1 million base salary, a target bonus opportunity of 100% of his base salary and a target long-term incentive grant opportunity of 300% of his base salary, provided in the form of 70% restricted stock units and 30% of stock options, with annual vesting over three years.

The bonus opportunity and long-term incentive grant opportunity are not guaranteed and will depend on satisfaction of certain performance or service conditions. Lansberry will relocate to the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California and will be provided local housing during the period.

Shares of Disney, which are up more than 4% year to date, traded lower in after-hours trading Thursday.