Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs have been rehired to advise Iger on how to deal with Disney’s legacy television businesses, including the ESPN sports network, according to multiple news sources. Iger, in a recent interview with CNBC, confirmed he was mulling a potential sale of the assets.
In addition to advising Iger, Mayer and Staggs will work with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro to examine strategic options for the sports channel.
Iger inked a two-year extension with Disney in early July, ensuring he held the chief executive position at the California-based entertainment giant until the end of 2026. His original deal had him as CEO until the end of 2024. Prior, he ran the media company was 2005 to 2020.
Iger returned to Disney as CEO in November last year after then CEO Bob Chapek was pushed out after a tumultuous tenure which included clashing with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and failing to handle controversial political and social issues that divided employees.
According to the reports, Staggs and Mayer were received well on Wall Street while at Disney and only left the entertainment company after their opportunity to land the CEO position waned.
Staggs held several job roles while at Disney, including chief financial officer, chief operating officer and head of theme parks. Meanwhile, Mayer worked alongside Iger on acquisitions and played a key role in Disney’s streaming approach.
Iger has said finding his successor is a top priority for Disney. The company board has already appointed a four-person committee for the search, captained by former Nike chief Mark Parker.
Potential internal candidates for the CEO job include Dana Walden, co-chair of Disney Entertainment, film chief Alan Bergman and theme parks head Josh D’Amaro, according to the news sources.
Disney has not responded to early inquiries from FOX Business.
Shares of the company are trailing with just a 2% gain this year, compared to a 19% rise for the S&P 500.