Disney CEO succession path cleared as CFO Jay Rasulo resigns

Chief financial officer of Walt Disney Co., Jay Rasulo will resign at the end of June

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The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that its chief financial officer, Jay Rasulo, will resign at the end of June, clearing the path for another top executive, Tom Staggs, to succeed Bob Iger as eventual CEO.

A new chief financial officer was not immediately named Monday, but Rasulo, 59, will serve as an adviser to assist in the transition.

"Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney's success," Iger said in a statement.

Barton Crockett, a media company analyst with FBR Capital Markets & Co., said the move is clearly related to succession planning, something Disney has managed poorly in the past, especially with the resignation of Michael Eisner in 2005 following a shareholder revolt.

"Like so many things under Bob Iger, things are just working better now, including succession," Crockett said.

Iger is to step down in 2018, having postponed his resignation twice, thanks to the board of directors push to continue with his success transforming the company, largely through the major acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

The possible promotion of 55-year-old Staggs was foreshadowed when he became chief operating officer, a newly created position, in February.

Disney has not officially named a successor to Iger.

Rasulo joined Disney in 1986, had been chairman of Disney's parks and resorts division, and became CFO five years ago. He was also recently responsible for overseeing operations at YouTube channel operator Maker Studios.

Rasulo oversaw the major expansion of Disney's California Adventure theme park, the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland and the addition of two new cruise ships to Disney's fleet. Rasulo said in a statement it was a "true honor" to work at Disney.

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