Disney’s current CEO may stay on past his contract’s expiration if the company goes through with the purchase of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets.
Bob Iger has been the CEO of Disney since 2005. His contract with the company expires in July 2019, but a report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Iger would stay with Disney long enough to help integrate Fox’s assets into Disney’s portfolio if a deal is reached.
Previously, James Murdoch, the current CEO of 21st Century Fox and son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was floated as a possible replacement for Iger if the deal went through.
Rumors of the deal first began circulating in early November. At the time, negotiations had stalled out, but reports soon came in that Disney and Fox were talking to each other again and that Fox was favoring Disney over other potential buyers. The assets Disney is seeking to purchase are valued at as much as $67 billion.
Disney's interest in Fox is said to be in large part fueled by wanting to regain the film rights to all of the Marvel Comics characters, including the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, whose rights are all currently held by 20th Century Fox.
While Fox and Disney are negotiating, actors Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds have been making jokes about what the deal could mean for their starring roles as Marvel characters Captain America and Deadpool, respectively.
21st Century Fox is reportedly looking to become a more news-focused company once its other assets have been divested. The decision is the result of the company's leadership coming to the realization that it is simply not large enough as a media entity to compete with giants like Disney and the rapidly growing digital presences of Netflix and Amazon.
A finalized deal could be announced as early as next week.