NBA’s Adam Silver, former Disney executives on short list to replace Bob Iger

The search to replace Disney CEO Bob Iger has formally started off with a shorter checklist that features some normal suspects and one out-of-the box applicant from the entire world of sports activities, FOX Company has learned.

Adam Silver, Commissioner of the Nationwide Basketball Association, is a best candidate to substitute Iger as chief executive officer, when he is set to retire in two many years, according to two men and women with immediate knowledge of the matter. 

Disney+ logo

Attendees are mirrored in Disney+ symbol all through the Walt Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on September 9, 2022.  (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Pictures / Getty Visuals)

Bob Iger

Robert Iger attends the Stella McCartney “Get Again” Capsule Collection and documentary launch of Peter Jackson’s “Get Back again” at The Jim Henson Enterprise on November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Abundant Fury/Getty Illustrations or photos / Getty Pictures)

Other top candidates on the record consist of Dana Walden, Disney’s amusement co-chair and Kevin Mayer, a previous Disney govt, CEO of shorter-online video app TikTok and now, founder and CEO of Candle Media.

Iger, 72, is commonly regarded as among the most thriving media executives in the company, overseeing a string of hit programming and generating record profits for traders, while growing Disney’s topic park footprint globally. 


After a 24-calendar year stint at the Dwelling of Mouse, he retired in 2021 only to return a second time as CEO pursuing the exit of Bob Chapek.

Chapek, also a extensive-time Disney executive, was ousted late previous calendar year amid mounting business troubles specially in the company’s streaming approach and an unattractive political fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis above the state’s sex-education regulation

Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver address the media in the course of a pregame press convention prior to the video game of the Chicago Bulls towards the Detroit Pistons at Accor Arena on January 19, 2023 in Paris, France.  (David Sherman/NBAE by way of Getty Pictures / Getty Photos)

Silver, while seemingly an not likely candidate to run the most important media firm in the entire world, has a extended-standing partnership with both of those Iger and Disney. 

Silver’s job as head of the NBA usually means he does a great deal of do the job with ESPN, Disney’s flagship cable sports community. Right before starting to be commissioner, Silver invested eight many years as president and chief running officer of NBA Amusement.

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A Disney spokesman declined to comment but would not deny the existence of a shortlist to swap Iger. Through the spokesman, Walden declined to comment. A spokesman for the NBA declined comment. A spokesman for Mayer didn’t return phone calls for remark.

Information of the Disney shorter record such as Silver’s inclusion was initially noted Friday on Fox Business’s The Claman Countdown.

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Crowds pack and fill Major Road United states of america at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida, on June 1, 2022. (Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency by way of Getty Pictures / Getty Photographs)

Considering the fact that his return as CEO, Iger himself has been below strain from activist investors on the lookout to rev up Disney’s stock selling price, which has declined 24{21df340e03e388cc75c411746d1a214f72c176b221768b7ada42b4d751988996} more than the previous 12 months in contrast to just a 3{21df340e03e388cc75c411746d1a214f72c176b221768b7ada42b4d751988996} drop in the Typical & Poor’s 500 index of large-firm shares.

Disney’s small business product of concept parks, and several kinds of entertainment programming has struggled in the latest many years amid the world wide pandemic and the problem in churning regular revenue by way of streaming movie

Nelson Peltz’s Trian Management, which retains $900 million in Disney shares, introduced a proxy battle — considering that disbanded — with Iger, demanding a board seat, reductions in govt compensation, expense cuts and possibly the sale of ESPN. 


Peltz finished his fight right after Iger announced a broad restructuring of Disney’s numerous businesses including layoffs, and reiterated his intention to retire in two several years.

Talk of Silver’s achievable tapping for chairman could necessarily mean Disney will maintain ESPN, its $50 billion sports network as Silver’s relationship with the community is robust. 

“It is an uncommon decision considering the fact that Disney is usually run by men and women who know the entertainment industry,” reported an executive of a big sports franchise who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”But he definitely understands Disney and Iger, so it’s feasible”

In running the NBA, Silver sits on major of a company that generates $10 billion in revenues on a yearly basis Disney’s revenues topped $80 billion in 2022. But working a athletics league takes a deft administration hand, given the different political pressures concerned, dealing with the numerous personalities who very own the teams, as nicely as the leisure side of the recreation. 

Bob Iger, Adam Silver

Disney chairman and main government office Bob Iger (L) with NBA commissioner Adam Silver sitting down courtside for the duration of All-Star Weekend at Smoothie King Heart.  (Greg Nelson/Athletics Illustrated via Getty Photographs / Getty Images)

Underneath Silver the NBA’s has increased profitability, earning the majority of its cash via promoting the legal rights to its game titles to networks, advertising its goods and of study course, ticket revenue. 

The league has expanded in sites like Communist China, which has been controversial but also financially rewarding. 


Silver is claimed to have taken a vital role in banishing the Los Angeles Clippers operator Donald Sterling from the league next racist reviews.

It is unclear if any of the candidates have the inside of keep track of on Iger’s position, and other candidates may well emerge. 

Folks inside of Disney tell Fox Business enterprise that other feasible inside contenders involve Alan Bergman, the other co-chair of entertainment, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of parks and resorts, and Jimmy Pitaro, president of ESPN. 

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse participates in a parade in the course of a 100 calendar year celebrations concentrating on the Walt Disney Co. turning 100 at Disneyland on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in Anaheim, CA. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times via Getty Photos / Getty Photographs)

But at least for now, Silver, Mayer and Walden look to have the strongest arms in the Iger alternative race. 

Mayer, for his portion, was Disney’s former chairman of its immediate-to-shopper business enterprise. He is a lengthy-time media executive who was accountable for launching Disney +, ESPN+ and Hulu + through his tenure at the enterprise. 

He still left Disney to come to be CEO of TikTok and the chief operating officer of its China centered keeping firm ByteDance in Could 2020.

Just a couple months afterwards he abruptly resigned from the small-movie application organization as it came beneath pressure from the Trump Administration to sever ties with the China-based Bytedance around espionage considerations. 

He now owns and operates Candle Media, a media company that Disney is rumored to be interested in getting.

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Walden, meanwhile, has extensive knowledge in media and amusement like 25 yrs at 21st Century Fox. She was CEO of Fox Tv Group, which was after affiliated with Fox Business just before its sale to Disney in 2019. 

For the duration of Walden’s tenure, Fox won hundreds of Emmys, and many other awards. 

Minnie Arwood

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