Walt Disney Co. taps Christine McCarthy as new chief financial officer


Walt Disney Co. has tapped Treasurer Christine McCarthy to be its first female chief financial officer.

A 15-year veteran of the Burbank entertainment giant, McCarthy is the second woman promoted to a senior role at Disney in recent months. In May, the company -- whose top posts are mostly held by men -- named Leslie Ferraro president of its consumer products division.

McCarthy, 60, begins her tenure as CFO effective immediately, Disney said in a statement.


She succeeds James Rasulo, who earlier this year was passed over for the company’s No. 2 job of chief operating officer. Disney said on June 1 that Rasulo would step down from his post at the end of the month.

Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger -- to whom McCarthy reports -- praised her “keen financial acumen.”

“She is highly respected in the finance sector, and in this new role she will have even more impact on creating value for Disney shareholders,” he said in a statement.

Disney also named longtime company executive Kevin Mayer to the post of senior executive vice president and the newly created role of chief strategy officer. After Rasulo’s impending departure was announced, some Disney watchers said that Mayer -- an experienced deal maker who oversaw Disney’s multibillion-dollar acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm -- could be considered for the CFO post.

Iger praised Mayer’s work on those purchases and said that the executive would “continue to focus on growth opportunities and help position the company for the future.” Since 2005, Mayer had served as executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development.

Mayer, 53, who previously reported to Rasulo, will now report to Iger and Thomas Staggs, the Disney executive named chief operating officer in February.

McCarthy was the chief financial officer at Imperial Bancorp from 1997 to 2000 before joining Disney; most recently she served as the company’s executive vice president of corporate real estate and alliances, in addition to her treasurer role. Now, she is taking over for a colleague who had been considered for Disney’s No. 2 post.

It was expected that Rasulo would leave Disney after the company chose rival Staggs -- the former head of the company’s parks and resorts division -- to be chief operating officer. The two executives had competed for that coveted job, which is widely seen as a grooming post for the company’s next CEO.

Iger, 64, is expected to retire when his contract expires in 2018.

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