Parks Chief Thomas Staggs is Promoted! Will He Become the Next CEO?

No way! no way! no way!!! In a good way.

According to Reuters, Walt Disney Company named Thomas Staggs, the head of its theme parks and resorts unit, as chief operating officer of the company on Thursday.

He is in the lead to succeed Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger in 2018.The 63-year-old Iger, who has led Disney to record profits, recently extended his contract for a second time through June 2018.

Staggs is 54 years old and is a 25-year veteran of Disney and previously served as CFO. He expanded Disney’s California Adventure and oversees the Shanghai theme park that will open next year. He also introduced the well-known technology, MyMagic+ wireless wristbands, helping guests plan their visit, act as their pass, and pay for Disney merchandise easier and more efficiently.

There was no comment on Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo’s future, who is another candidate to become CEO.


Disney and Techstars “Disney Accelerator” Bootcamp! 10 Lucky Startup Companies

The Walt Disney Company is reaching out there Mickey gloves to help 10 lucky startups succeed and give the media more insights into creativity. The Disney Accelerator is working with Techstars, and will invest $120,000 in each early-stage startup.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Applications are now being accepted through April 16, 2014 for the inaugural program beginning June 30. The program is 3 months long and will help participants learn more on applications to cultivate a company. Participants will be selected based on the concept and whether the idea matches up with something Disney can readily identify with.

The Walt Disney Corporation headquarters, in Burbank, Calif. (Credit: The Walt Disney Corporation)

The Disney Accelerator will choose 10 startups to help jumpstart their business. Each will receive $20,000 initially and an additional $100,000 in convertible debt. In return, Disney and Techstars will receive 6 percent equity (3 percent each) in the startup.

Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development, Kevin Mayer, says the program “offers a unique collaboration between some of the best creative minds in the entertainment industry and the modern-day visionaries who are starting businesses on the strength of exciting new ideas.”

Teams will be mentored by executives from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Participants may also receive advice from Disney’s Chairman and CEO Robert Iger. It is also said that founder Jason Calacanis, Atom Factory CEO Troy Carter, Greylock Partners partner Josh Elman, Techstars founder and CEO David Cohen, Circa co-founder and CEO Matt Galligan, August Capital general partner David Hornik, Facebook’s director of product Mike Hudack, SoftTech VC partner Charles Hudson, Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers, Redpoint Ventures partner Ryan Sarver, Upfront Ventures general partner Mark Suster, and many others will be helping mentors.

This is the first time Disney will be doing something like this. There are similar programs that techstars have done with other companies like Microsoft and Nike. Techstars will be choosing someone to help run accelerator full-time under the supervision of Michael Abrams, Disney’s senior vice president of innovation.

Disney-TechstarsIf you have an idea for a company that you’ve been dying to do, now’s your chance to show Disney and many other executives how you are more than capable of succeeding.

Apply at:

Oliver & Company Stirs City Sentiments

Oliver & Company Stirs City Sentiments

by Jenny Chan

The popular Disney movie “Oliver and Company inspired by Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” depicts a homeless kitten named Oliver, roaming the streets of New York, where he is taken in by a gang of homeless dogs who survive by stealing from others for their master, Fagin. The setting of Disney’s “Oliver and Company” is in New York City during the 1980’s, the hustle and bustle of vehicles in the streets shows the busy life in the city. “Oliver and Company” shows the ambivalence of New York City in a negative and positive light, the negative of the pickpockets like Fagin who uses Oliver for money and loan sharks like Sykes who ends up kidnapping Jenny Foxworth for ransom, but the positive of kind hearted people like Jenny and her family who take in Oliver and the positive vision of wealth status that they hold. The famous song “Why Should I Worry” performed by Billy Joel depicts the big city life. The lyrics are:

“One minute I’m in Central Park

Then I’m down on Delancey Street

From the Bowery to St. Marks

There’s a syncopated Beat

I’m streetwise

I can improvise

I’m street-smart

I’ve got New York City heart

The Rhythm of the City

Once you get it down

You can own this town

You can wear the crown

Why should I worry?

Why should I care?

And even when I cross that line

I got street savoir-faire”

The lyrics emphasize a care free life in the city, and the freedom to do what one wants to do or be where they want to be. The second set of lyrics from above shows pride in living in New York City, with a “New York City heart”. The third set of lyrics emphasis the getting use to city life and how it can be hard, but once city life is accepted by the individual, there may be many opportunities that the city life can hold for that person.