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Ben Sherwood

For Disney, it's a small, small world of possible candidates to succeed CEO Iger

For Disney, it's a small, small world of possible candidates to succeed CEO Iger

A year ago, Thomas Staggs was poised to one day run the world's largest entertainment company after beating out a longtime rival to be named chief operating officer and heir apparent to Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger.

Now Staggs, 55, is on his way out. The final straw was the refusal of Disney's board of directors to formally name Staggs as Iger's successor, but trouble had been brewing for some time as Staggs had grown increasingly frustrated in his No. 2 role, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Staggs was said to be unhappy that some senior managers continued to seek direction primarily from Iger, despite what...

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