Darroch’s appointment is effective January 9, 2024, and Gorman’s is effective February 5, 2024.
According to Walt Disney, the selection of Gorman, a deeply respected leader at one of the world’s preeminent global financial institutions, and Darroch, an accomplished chief executive and financial leader with significant experience in the international media and consumer products sectors, follows a lengthy and comprehensive search that began in April 2023. Their appointments reflect Walt Disney’s commitment to a strong board focused on the long-term performance of the company, strategic growth initiatives, the succession planning process, and increasing shareholder value.
Commenting on the appointments, Mark G. Parker, chairman of the board, The Walt Disney Company, said: “James and Jeremy are both widely respected leaders in their industries, and their expertise will complement the talents and experience of the Disney board as we continue to focus on delivering for consumers and shareholders alike.
“In the 14 years that James has been CEO of Morgan Stanley, he has overseen a strategic transformation of the institution and delivered significant shareholder value, and was integral to Morgan Stanley’s well-managed succession process over the past year,” Parker said. “Jeremy brings extensive leadership in the international media business, and during his tenure at Sky, he led Sky’s successful transition from a linear satellite broadcaster to one of Europe’s largest multi-platform TV providers”.
Gorman added: “Disney stands apart, both in its creative excellence and its deep connection with consumers.
“It is an incredible opportunity to join this accomplished board of directors, and to lend my experience and perspective as the company implements its strategic vision to build for the future”.
Darroch said: “I am thrilled to join the board of directors of one of the most beloved brands in the world at such a pivotal moment for the company.
“I look forward to working closely with my fellow board members to advise Disney’s executive leadership on the implementation of their strategic priorities designed to drive sustained growth and create long-term shareholder value.”
Gorman and Darroch will be included in the company’s slate of director nominees in the proxy statement for Disney’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Disney board member Francis A. deSouza has decided not to stand for re-election at the annual meeting, as he pursues new opportunities in the technology sector that will require his full attention.
“I’m immensely proud to have had the opportunity to serve such an important and cherished institution alongside this group of esteemed board members,” deSouza said. “I have enormous admiration and affection for the company and its leaders and cast members, and I look forward to cheering on every future success as a lifelong Disney fan as I step down to pursue my next career endeavours”.
Parker said: “We are grateful to Francis for his years of service on the Disney board, and understand his desire not to stand for re-election in the spring as he pursues his next venture.
“He has provided invaluable guidance during his tenure, and we wish him the very best”.
Separately, speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Conference and quoted by Reuters, Walt Disney’s CEO Bog Iger said he would definitely step down when his contract expires in 2026. He also said that the ABC broadcasting network is not for sale.