For months, industry observers have speculated on who would replace Iger, who has headed Disney during a period of rapid expansion. Iger orchestrated Disney's multibillion-dollar acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012.
Two of Iger’s highest-profile projects are scheduled to bow next year. The Shanghai Disney Resort, a nearly $4-billion theme park project that Iger has been working on for more than a decade, is slated to open by the end of 2015. In December of that year, the first “Star Wars” film made by Disney will be released.