- Christine McCarthy, CFO of The Walt Disney Company, will be stepping down from her role and taking a family medical leave of absence effective July 1, the company announced Thursday.
- Kevin Lansberry, the company’s EVP and CFO of Parks, Experiences and Products, will serve as the company’s interim CFO.
- McCarthy will have the title “strategic advisor” for Disney during her leave of absence, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her duties under the advisory role will be to “to assist the Company with the identification of, and transition of duties to, a new Chief Financial Officer,” according to the filing. The last day of leave and employment with the company will be June 30, 2024.
Lansberry, who has served as the Burbank, California-based company’s CFO of parks, experiences and products since 2018, has logged a 35-year stint at Disney and its subsidiaries, according to the company filing. He will assume the interim CFO position at an “at will” basis beginning July 1, and will receive a base salary of $1 million as well as a target bonus opportunity of 100% of his base salary in the position.
A 23-year veteran of the company, McCarthy has served as the entertainment behemoth’s CFO for eight years after serving a 15-year stint as its treasurer. The terms of her compensation remain unchanged at this time, according to the company filing.
McCarthy has played a critical role in recent shakeups at Disney, including the ousting of previous CEO Bob Chapek. The CFO expressed a lack of confidence in Chapek to directors following peak losses in the company’s streaming services reported during its November 2022 earnings call, the Wall Street Journal reported that month. Shortly after the call, Disney announced Bob Iger, who had led the company as its CEO for 15 years, would be returning to his position while Chapek would be stepping down after three years in the role.
Iger has taken swift action since regaining the CEO seat, announcing a restructuring plan which included a renewed focus on Disney’s streaming business as well as strategic reductions in staff. Disney cut 15% of its entertainment staff in April, with McCarthy also detailing plans to restructure Disney’s finance team during that time, CFO Dive previously reported.
The company plans to reduce the content supported on its streaming platforms, McCarthy said in May during its second quarter earnings call, following a dip in paid subscribers for the quarter.
Meanwhile, news of outgoing CFO McCarthy’s stepping down comes a month after after she was named in a shareholder lawsuit alongside ex-CEO Chapek and Chairman of Disney media and entertainment distribution Kareem Daniel.
The suit alleges the company’s senior executives did not truthfully or sufficiently share key figures regarding the state of the business, particularly concerning subscriber growth for its Disney+ streaming platform service and the health of the overall streaming space.
Senior executives were involved in “drafting, producing, reviewing and/or disseminating false and misleading statements” and failed to disclose decelerating subscriber loss, according to the complaint.
Paid subscribers dropped for the second consecutive quarter to 157.8 million for the quarter ending April 1, a 2% drop from the 161.8 million previously reported in December, according to the company’s most recent earnings results.
Disney did not respond to requests for comment.