Disney heir apparent Tom Staggs is leaving the company

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Staggs, the presumed front-runner to replace Bob Iger as CEO of The Walt Disney Co., is leaving the company next month.

The surprise announcement Monday means the company will have to look further for Iger's successor after he steps down about two years from now.

Staggs, a 26-year veteran of the company and its chief operating officer, had been assumed to be on track for the top job after the next leading candidate, Jay Rasulo, resigned last June as chief financial officer.

Disney said in a statement that it would "broaden" its search for CEO candidates.