Jay Rasulo, the Disney chief financial officer who was passed over in February for the company’s No. 2 job, will step down at the end of the month, Disney chief executive Robert Iger announced Monday morning.
The company said Rasulo will stay on an an adviser and help Iger assist with the transition. The longtime executive has been rumored as a possible CEO at a number of companies, including game maker Mattel, but his immediate plans remained unspecified.
“Jay has been a valued colleague and friend, as well as a vital contributor to Disney’s success, particularly in his roles as chief financial officer and chairman of our Parks and Resorts division,” Iger said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him in this new advisory role, where his strategic acumen and savvy insight will continue to benefit the company.”
In his own statement, Rasulo called it “a true honor” to work at Disney. He complimented Iger as “a great leader.” He said his friendship with Iger would continue and he looked forward to working as an adviser for the company.
Rasulo, 59, carried the title of senior executive vice president, as well as CFO. He helped Disney acquire Maker Studios and previously served as chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He swapped jobs in 2010 with then-CFO Tom Staggs, who became boss of the company’s theme parks.
When Staggs was named chief operating officer of the company on February 5, the assignment made him heir apparent to Iger, who is scheduled to step down as CEO in mid-2018. Speculation began immediately that Rasulo’s time at the company might be limited.
He worked at Disney for 29 years, arriving in 1986 as director of Strategic Planning and Development. He advanced repeatedly, at one point serving as senior vice president of corporate alliances, before taking the job running theme parks.
Rasulo’s contract had expired at the end of January and was not renewed. That heightened expectations that Staggs would soon be named as Iger’s eventual replacement, and the COO nod came his way shortly into February.
Prior to coming to Disney, Rasulo held positions with Chase Manhattan Bank and the Marriott Corporation.
A new chief financial officer for Disney will be named at a later date.