December 9, 2023

Christina McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company, participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019.

Michael Kovacs | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy (Christine McCarthy) will step down from that role, the entertainment giant said Thursday.

She will be on family medical leave, during which time she will continue to serve as a strategic advisor disney, the company said. McCarthy will also help find a long-term successor, Disney added. Veteran Disney executive Kevin Lansbury, currently treasurer of Disneyland operations, will become the company’s interim chief financial officer on July 1.

“I am extremely grateful to Bob for the opportunity to serve as CFO of this iconic company and am proud of the work my talented team has done to enable Disney to capitalize on the future,” McCarthy said in a news release. business opportunity.” announcing her departure.

McCarthy joined Disney in 2000 and became chief financial officer in 2015, leaving as Disney undergoes a massive restructuring under Bob Iger’s second term as CEO. In several rounds of layoffs this year, the company is targeting 7,000 job cuts.

Disney is also dealing with a tougher advertising market for media companies and trying to differentiate itself in a crowded streaming space. In its fiscal second quarter, Disney reported a loss of $659 million in its direct-to-consumer business.

During McCarthy’s tenure, Disney’s streaming spending soared while free cash flow declined. For a while, this was fine. Disney’s stock rose as the number of Disney+ subscribers soared. But when the streaming valuation balloon suddenly bursts in 2022, she’ll need to change tack. This work is still in progress.

McCarthy also became a key figure in Disney’s upheaval last year, with Iger returning to replace his successor, Bob Chapek, as CEO. During Chapek’s tenure, she moved toward his inner circle, reportedly only to oppose him, which proved to be the final straw for the former CEO.

But Iger had loyalists at that company, and McCarthy turned to Chapek to show she wasn’t in that camp. As a result, internally, she was never as trusted by Iger as anyone else, according to people familiar with the matter.

Iger, however, took a positive view of McCarthy in Thursday’s statement.

“Among her many contributions to the company, one of the things I admire most about Kristen is the generous mentorship she has provided to many of her colleagues, including countless women, over the years,” Iger said in a news release. Opened doors, created opportunity, and set an example for women at every level of business — not just at Disney, but around the world.”