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Disney CEO Bob Iger gets contact extension to July 2019

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/23/2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney CEO Bob Iger is getting a one-year contract extension.

The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday ended any speculation that Iger would retire this year, extending contract to July 2, 2019.

Iger's base salary of $2.5 million will be unchanged, but he gets a $5 million signing bonus, according to filings with the Security Exchange Commission. He made a total of $43.9 million in 2016, when tacking on stock awards and other perks.

Speculation had been swirling over whether the 66-year-old Iger would extend his contract. There's no obvious successor at Disney since Iger's heir apparent, COO Tom Staggs, left last year.

Since taking the top role in 2005, Iger has acquired Star Wars owner LucasFilm, Pixar and Marvel and driven improvements in Disney's consumer products and parks division, most recently with the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in 2016.

In February, Iger indicated he was amenable to extending his contract.

"If it's in the best interest of the company for me to extend my term, I'm open to that," he said during a conference call with analysts.

Orin Smith, the lead independent director of Disney's board, said in a statement Thursday that Iger's "strategic vision" and successful record show that it is in the best interest of Disney to keep Iger aboard while they seek his successor.

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