Disney postpones Iger’s retirement party, extends CEO through 2018

October 2, 2014, 10:27 PM UTC
Key Speakers At The 2014 Milken Conference
Robert "Bob" Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 28, 2014. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disney is riding high, and the entertainment behemoth wants its CEO’s ride to last longer than expected.

The Walt Disney Company’s board said Thursday that it is extending the contract of chairman and CEO Bob Iger through the end of June 2018, which is two years beyond the 2016 retirement date set in a previous contract extension he signed last summer.

The company’s stock price has more than doubled (214%) since Iger took over the CEO role from Michael Eisner, in 2005, while Disney’s (DIS) market value has more than tripled, to $150 billion. Iger had previously spent five years as Disney’s chief operating officer, a position that has remained vacant since he took the helm of the company. Iger is expected to name a new COO next year in a move that will likely allow him to anoint his own successor.

“I’m very excited about what lies ahead, including the release of our Star Wars films and the launch of Shanghai Disneyland, and I’m honored to continue working with our talented management team and the 175,000 dedicated people who make this company what it is today,” Iger said in a statement.

Under Iger’s watch, Disney has expanded its entertainment offerings with such major acquisitions as Pixar, in 2006, and Marvel Entertainment three years later. In 2012, Iger oversaw Disney’s $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm, which paved the way for a new slate of Star Wars films to be released in coming years. Disney has also recently turned around its iconic animation unit with the global success of last year’s Frozen, which became the highest-grossing animated film ever and spawned a lucrative line of merchandise.

In August, the company reported 22% lift in third quarter profits while the entertainment studio’s revenues jumped 14%. The parks and resorts unit saw a sales bump of 8%.

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