Eisner says Iger ‘boss’ at Disney

Although Iger won’t take over as CEO until Sept., Eisner says the transition has already happened.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner told Wall Street analysts he was already the “junior partner” to his successor Bob Iger, one analyst wrote Wednesday.

Iger, currently president and chief operating officer, was named as the next CEO of the media and theme park company March 13. He will take over at the end of September and share duties of the top office with Eisner until then.

Iger was Eisner’s chosen successor and has long been viewed as the “junior partner” in the relationship.

But Eisner called Iger the “boss” and said the “transition has already taken place,” in a talk between the two executives, Disney Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs, and Wall Street analysts Tuesday, Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen wrote in a research note.

Iger, who she said was focused on extending double-digit growth beyond fiscal 2007, plans to hold discussions with the board on his own successor “sooner rather than later,” Reif Cohen wrote.

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