The shocking and sudden departure of Thomas Staggs as Walt Disney Company’s chief operating officer Monday has blown open the race to succeed Bob Iger atop the entertainment giant. It likely means that for the first time since the 1980s, Disney will look outside its ranks for a new leader to guide the company through an era of tremendous changes in the entertainment landscape.
“For the first time in memory they’re going to go outside for a CEO,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Company. “That’s a big thing. Given the unique culture of the Walt Disney Company it was widely expected that a successor to Bob Iger had to come from within.”
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