One of the big questions around Disney is who will eventually succeed 72-year-old CEO Bob Iger. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was floated as a possibility there recently, with Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino reporting earlier this month that Silver, DAZN Group chairman Kevin Mayer, and co-leader of Disney Entertainment Dana Walden were on an “unofficial shortlist” of candidates to eventually take over from Iger. At the NBA board of governors meetings Wednesday, Silver was asked if he had talked to Disney or Iger on that, and while he didn’t directly comment on that, he did say he doesn’t plan to leave the NBA:
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he has “no intention of going anywhere” after multiple reports circulated in recent weeks of him being on the shortlist to succeed Bob Iger as CEO of Disney.https://t.co/b7EokPn2M5
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) March 29, 2023
Here’s his full quote from that piece:
“I love my job at the NBA. I have no intention of going anywhere,” Silver, 60, said Wednesday at the league’s board of governors meeting when asked if he had talked to Disney or Iger about the CEO job.
However, Silver’s current contract with the NBA only runs through the 2023-24 season. And that’s added to the Silver-Disney speculation, as Iger’s contract there runs through the end of 2024 (although we’ve seen Iger change timelines quite a bit before). And it’s notable that “no intention” doesn’t rule anything out.
Does Silver (seen above on ESPN’s NBA Today in 2021) make sense as a candidate for Disney CEO? Possibly. He’s certainly run a large and complicated business, overseeing the NBA since February 2014. And he has a lot of familiarity with at least the sports side of Disney (now one of their three main divisions) from the NBA’s long TV relationship with ESPN and ABC. That doesn’t mean he would necessarily be picked, as both Mayer and Walden have impressive backgrounds as well (and both of them have held high-level roles at Disney), and there could be plenty of other candidates that haven’t been named publicly yet. But it seems likely he’d get some consideration if he wants it, and that will be worth tracking even with his “no intention” comment here.