In the latest shakeup within the Walt Disney Company’s executive ranks, Christine McCarthy is stepping down from her role as chief financial officer/executive VP in order to take a family medical leave. Kevin Lansberry will begin serving as interim CFO on July 1, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on Thursday.
McCarthy will continue as a strategic advisor to the company during her leave and assist with the process of identifying and onboarding a long-term successor to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
“Christine McCarthy is one of the most admired financial executives in America, and her impact on The Walt Disney Company during 23 years of dedicated service cannot be overstated,” Iger said in a statement. “Christine has served as a key strategic anchor during a period of great transformation, and she and I have discussed her desire to ensure an orderly and successful CFO succession in advance of the company’s transition to its next chief executive officer. She is stepping down from her CFO role as she takes family medical leave, but has graciously offered to move into an advisory position to assist her successor in assuming the duties she has so expertly handled these many years.”
Iger also credited McCarthy with serving as a mentor to countless Disney executives over the years — especially female executives.
“Among her many contributions to the company, one of the things I admire most about Christine is the generous mentorship she has provided to so many of her colleagues over the years, including countless women,” Iger said. “She has opened doors, created opportunities, and served as a role model for women at every level of business — not just at Disney, but around the world.”
McCarthy joined Disney as treasurer in 2000 before being promoted to CFO in 2015. Well-liked on Wall Street and insightful regarding the market, McCarthy has long been one of Iger’s most trusted lieutenants, and she also had a major hand in bringing him back as CEO to replace Bob Chapek.
“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity Bob provided me to serve as CFO of this iconic company and am proud of the work my talented team has done to position Disney to capitalize on the business possibilities that lie ahead,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Although I am leaving the CFO role, I look forward to helping with the transition and will always be rooting for the success of my extended Disney family, who have shown, time and again, that determination, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence are an unstoppable combination.”
Meanwhile, Lansberry has served as the CFO/EVP of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since 2017, and he has agreed to serve as interim CFO until the company can conduct a more thorough search of both internal and external candidates. At the top of next month, he’ll assume oversight of Disney’s worldwide finance organization, which includes corporate alliances and partnerships, corporate real estate, corporate strategy and business development, enterprise controllership, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax, and treasury.
“Kevin has been with the company for more than three decades and is a trusted lieutenant to Christine. Having expertly served as CFO at our largest business segment since 2017, he has my complete confidence, and I look forward to working with him during this transition,” noted Iger.
Prior to joining Disney, McCarthy served as CFO of Imperial Bancorp from 1997 to 2000 and held various exec positions at First Interstate Bancorp from 1981 to 1996. She was rumored as a potential successor to Chapek as Disney’s top boss before Iger returned as CEO.