Christine M. McCarthy has been picked as Disney’s new chief financial officer, marking the second time in recent weeks that the entertainment conglomerate has chosen a woman for a key post in its top executive ranks. The Walt Disney Company also named Kevin Mayer chief strategy officer, in a dual announcement by CEO Robert Iger.
McCarthy fills the spot vacated by Jay Rasulo, who announced earlier this month that he would leave the company, effective Tuesday.
Disney in May promoted Leslie Ferraro to the head of its consumer products operation, and that unit was merged this week with the company’s interactive division — putting Ferraro and a fellow executive in charge of a wide array of products and services from toys, to video games and beyond.
“Christine has done an incredible job as Disney’s treasurer over the past 15 years, and her strong leadership and keen financial acumen make her an ideal chief financial officer,” Iger said in a statement about his new CFO. “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.”
McCarthy’s four-year employment contract calls for her to make a base salary of $1.25 million, with the possibility of earning a bonus targeted at double that amount. The package also allows for stock awards and other benefits that substantially increase the value of her compensation. With a base salary of $1.75 million, outgoing CFO Rasulo last year collected compensation valued at 16.2 million.
Iger praised Mayer’s previous work in corporate strategy and business development during a time when Disney has been booming. He credited the executive with filling a key role as the company acquired three highly valued subsidiaries — Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.
McCarthy will report to Iger while Mayer will report jointly to both Iger and Tom Staggs, who was elevated earlier this year to chief operating officer. That position makes Staggs the heir apparent to the chief executive’s office.
McCarthy said in a statement that she was “humbled and honored to be entrusted with the role of CFO of this incredibly dynamic company.” She praised Iger for the company’s financial performance. She most recently worked as executive VP, corporate real estate, alliances and treasurer. Among her team’s responsibilities were corporate finance, capital markets, financial risk, international treasury and investments, credit, and risk management.
Mayer served since 2005 as an executive VP for corporate strategy and business development. In his new assignment as chief strategy officer he will oversee strategy and business development, along with acquisitions, innovation, enterprise IT, brand and franchise management and global corporate alliances.
Prior to his most recent stint at Disney, Mayer had been a partner at L.E.K. Consulting, heading a global media and entertainment practice and, before that, chairman and chief executive of Clear Channel Interactive. He first came to Disney in 1993 as manager, strategic planning, spearheading strategy and business development for all of Disney’s interactive and television operations. He holds an MBA from Harvard.
McCarthy had previously been an executive VP and CFO of Imperial Bancorp and held other executive posts at Imperial and another bank. She holds an MBA from UCLA and serves in several non-profit posts, including as a trustee of the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena and as a mentor for the National Math and Science Initiative’s STEM program. She was named this month as Treasury Today magazine’s Woman of the Year.