This is noteworthy but expected after CEO Bob Iger named Tom Staggs to be COO making him the heir apparent. CFO James Rasulo, who was also considered a contender, will leave on June 30, but will advise the company and “assist in the transition,” Disney says.
Rasulo’s contract expired in January; he made $16.2 million in the fiscal year that ended in September, the company says in its latest proxy. It adds that he would have been entitled to about $24 million in cash, options, and restricted stock at the end of the fiscal year if he left on good terms without a change in control at the company. In March he sold $12 million worth of his Disney stock.
“Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney’s success, particularly in his roles as chief financial officer and chairman of our Parks and Resorts division,” Iger says.
The company says it will name a new CFO “at a later date.” But keep your eye on Corporate Strategy and Business Development EVP Kevin Mayer. The Harvard MBA’s group looks for emerging businesses to buy and was involved with the Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Club Penguin and Maker Studios acquisitions.
Rasulo didn’t let on what plans, if any, he has now. “As I look to the horizon for future endeavors, I am privileged to continue my friendship with Bob and remain as an advisor to him and the Disney team.”
The CFO joined Disney in 1986 as director, Strategic Planning and Development following stints at Chase Manhattan Bank and Marriott Corp. He recently was key to the acquisition of Maker Studios — and was deeply involved in the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm and other deals. During his time at Parks and Resorts, from 2005 to 2009, he was involved with the expansion of Disney’s California Adventure, the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, the addition of two new cruise ships to Disney Cruise Line, and initial development of the new Shanghai Disney Resort.
Rasulo’s job changed in 2009 when Iger asked him to switch with Staggs, who was then CFO. Rasulo’s well respected and liked on the Street, where he has frequently represented Disney at briefings and conferences.