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Disney CEO search: What a new age media company CEO should be like

Following the exit of Disney chief operating officer (COO) Thomas O.Stagg (pictured), who was widely touted to be the next CEO after Robert A. Iger, the media and entertainment brand has broadened its search for a CEO.

According to a press statement by the company, Staggs will act as a special advisor to chief executive officer, Robert A. Iger through the current fiscal year.

According to Reuters, Edward Jones analyst Robin Diedrich commented that the reason for the exit could be the need for a new CEO with “more experience in technology” to navigate the rise in online streaming technology which is drawing viewers away from traditional television.

Technology continues to disrupt industries and media and entertainment are no exception. With media companies such as NBCUniversal turning to programmatic buying,  and brands such as Quaker getting into programmatic TV, it signals a major transformation for the industry as a whole.

At a time the media industry is at the cusp of a change, any incoming CEO will have to take a long-term transformational view. What then makes a perfect CEO for the new age media company?

“We live in a time where there is immense room for cross pollination of industries and that’s where great experiences come in. A new CEO will need to be willing to experiment with partnerships and be willing to take risks.” Lawrence Chong, chief executive officer of Consulus said.

He further added that companies can no longer afford to stop evolving and while Disney might have started out as a content company it has over the years evolved.

No longer just a media company, Disney has over the years evolved to provide experiences, content, and merchandise and is well positioned in all three areas.

“Disney is not just a media company; it’s a brand that creates magic. If Disney decides to be an airline tomorrow, you’d expect to be transported to another realm, not just a place,” Goh Shu Fen, co-founder and principal of R3, independent marketing consultancy, said.

“Hence, its CEO needs to intuitively understand why consumers crave Disney and play to that strength,” she said, adding that he or she needs to stick to that vision above all, and be prepared to be agile and fail fast, because technology accelerates experimentation and creates opportunities.

Read also: Do marketers make good CEOs?

 

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