Disney announced on Thursday that its chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, would be leaving her position.
According to the company, she will take a family medical leave of absence and continue to work as a Disney strategic advisor during that time. Disney added that McCarthy will assist in the search for a long-term replacement. Kevin Lansberry, a seasoned Disney executive who currently serves as the finance chief for Disney’s parks business, will take over as interim CFO on July 1.
In the press release announcing her departure, McCarthy stated, “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity Bob provided me to serve as CFO of this iconic company and am proud of the work my talented team has done to position Disney to capitalize on the business possibilities that lie ahead.”
During Bob Iger’s second term as CEO, McCarthy, who joined Disney in 2000 and was promoted to CFO in 2015, leaves the company as the company goes through extensive restructuring. During several rounds of layoffs this year, the company has set a goal of cutting 7,000 jobs.
Additionally, Disney has struggled to distinguish itself in a crowded streaming market and has had to contend with a tougher ad market for media companies. Disney reported direct-to-consumer segment operating losses of $659 million in its fiscal second quarter.
Free cash flow decreased and streaming spending at Disney skyrocketed under McCarthy’s leadership. That was fine for a while. Disney’s stock got a knock as the quantity of Disney+ endorsers took off. She had to alter her tactics, however, when the streaming valuations balloon popped in 2022. That still needs to be worked on.
During the upheaval that occurred at Disney the previous year, McCarthy also emerged as a crucial figure. Iger returned to the company to succeed Bob Chapek as CEO. She moved toward his inner circle during Chapek’s tenure, but she reportedly turned against him, which proved to be the tipping point for the former CEO.
In any case, Iger has supporters at that organization, and McCarthy’s advance toward Chapek showed she wasn’t in that camp. According to those who are familiar with the situation, as a result, she never enjoyed the same internal status as others as someone Iger trusted.
However, in his announcement on Thursday, Iger spoke positively of McCarthy.
In the news release, Iger stated, “Among her many contributions to the company, one of the things I admire most about Christine is the generous mentorship she has provided to so many of her colleagues over the years, including countless women.” “She has opened doors, created opportunities, and served as a role model for women at every level of business — not just at Disney, but around the world.”
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