WHEN: Today, Wednesday, July 12, 2023
WHERE: CNBC’s “Fast Money”
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC’s David Faber. Faber will speak with Disney CEO Bob Iger on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) tomorrow, Thursday, July 13 at 8am ET.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
MELISSA LEE: Let’s get straight to David Faber in Sun Valley, Idaho for all the details. David?
DAVID FABER: Yeah, Melissa tomorrow morning we sit down with Bob Iger, of course, the CEO of Disney and the news right now is that he will be CEO of the company for a bit longer than had been anticipated. Of course, our viewers may recall Mr. Iger returned to Disney late last year as its CEO after a 15-year stint in that job, out about 11 months returned, with an end date of the end of 2024. The board of directors has requested he has accepted an extension of his contract through the end of 2026. Perhaps a reflection of the challenging times that Disney finds itself in perhaps as well that he wants to accomplish certain things and didn’t have enough time in which to do it. Also puts off of course the search for a successor for some period of time. I’m told as well that senior management was involved in the decision and also was encouraging of Mr. Iger remaining at the company. So, the second stint for Bob Iger would appear to extend for what would be a total of roughly four years or right yeah, roughly four years instead of the two that originally been agreed to Melissa. That’s going to be the subject certainly of an interview that we conduct tomorrow morning on “Squawk Box” in addition to so many other issues involving the company, whether it’s direct to consumer, the future of ESPN, oh and on and on, but certainly important news for the market to digest after hours Bob Iger staying with Disney as its CEO for an additional two years beyond the expiration of his current contract was, which was set to expire at the end of 2024.
LEE: Not too much reaction in the stock after hours on this news, David. There have been recent reports that there was difficulty, there has been difficulty finding a successor. Do you know who might have been on that shortlist and just curious if there’s, you know, any, anybody from within who might now be leaving the company because they weren’t tapped on the shoulder and he’s staying longer?
FABER: No, I don’t think that really is going to be the case. The sense is, if you recall, he did a reorganization after soon taking over yet again with certain division heads and I think the expectation within the company is that is where the key race is, but I don’t believe that there’s any expectation that any of those people in fact will be leaving in any way Melissa or that there’s anyone particularly disappointed at this point. Of course, his extension does come with the recent departure of longtime CFO Christine McCarthy but as for that search, it really hadn’t begun in earnest from what I understand and obviously it will be conducted by the board of directors and now it gives Iger more time to follow through on the strategic initiatives he’s already put in place. Of course, we know part of them involving cutting as much as $5.5 billion worth of costs. We know there have been 7,000 job cuts along with that, but also getting the direct-to-consumer business on a path to if not to profitability, as they’ve been saying at least so far, they expect it to be breakeven by the end of ’24. So that’s sort of the task ahead for him. And again, tomorrow morning, we’re going to have an opportunity to speak to him at length about exactly why he chose to stay, what was behind that decision, and how he’s thinking strategically about the next three years.
LEE: David, thank you. David Faber joining tonight from Sun Valley, Idaho, and of course do not miss that interview, the exclusive interview with Bob Iger tomorrow at 8am Eastern Time on “Squawk Box” without commercial interruption.