Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The Walt Disne Co. has named a new chief operating officer, and he is seen as CEO Bob Iger’s heir apparent.

Tom Staggs, a 25-year Disney veteran who took the reins of the company’s parks division in 2010, was named chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Co. on Thursday. He will retain his role as head of parks and resorts until a successor can be named.

Disney analysts told the Los Angeles Times that although Staggs has not initiated many of the company’s latest expansions and attractions, he executed the ideas with his skills as a strong manager and a financial whiz.

“No one can deny that he’s been integral in the parks’ success,” Stephen Unger, a veteran executive recruiter who has worked alongside Staggs in a nonprofit group, told The Times. “Notwithstanding a measles outbreak, he’s had a great ride.”

Since Staggs took over as head of Disney’s parks division, attendance at the five Disney resorts has grown by an estimated 10 percent, according to a study by AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering company, The Times reported.

—City News Service

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