Walt Disney Company CFO Christine McCarthy participates in a panel discussion during the Milken Institute’s annual global conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019.

Michael Kovač | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Christine McCarthy, Disney’s chief financial officer, will step down from the role, the entertainment giant said Thursday.

She will take family medical leave and continue as a strategic advisor during that time Disney, the company said. McCarthy will also help find a long-term successor, Disney added. Veteran Disney executive Kevin Lansberry, who currently serves as chief financial officer for Disney parks, will become the company’s interim chief financial officer effective July 1.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity Bob has given me to serve as CFO of this iconic company, and I am proud of the work my talented team has done to enable Disney to capitalize on the business opportunities ahead,” McCarthy said in press release. announces her departure.

McCarthy, who started with Disney in 2000 and became CFO in 2015, is leaving as Disney undergoes a major restructuring during Bob Iger’s second term as CEO. The company has intended to cut 7,000 jobs during several rounds of layoffs this year.

Disney also faced a tougher advertising market for media companies and struggled to separate itself in the crowded streaming space. In its second fiscal quarter, Disney reported operating losses of $659 million for its direct customer segment.

During McCarthy’s tenure, Disney’s streaming spending skyrocketed and free cash flow declined. It was fine for a while. Disney shares surged as Disney+ subscribers surged. But when the streaming awards balloon popped in 2022, she needed to change strategies. This is still being worked on.

McCarthy also emerged as a key figure during last year’s coup at Disney, where Iger returned replace his successor as CEO, Bob Chapek. During Chapko’s tenure, she moved to his inner circle but reportedly turned against him, which proved to be the last straw for the former CEO.

But Iger has loyalists in that company, and McCarthy’s move toward Chapko showed she wasn’t in that camp. So, according to people familiar with the matter, she never had the same status that Iger trusted her as others.

However, Iger struck a positive note about McCarthy in Thursday’s announcement.

“Among her many contributions to society, one of the things I admire most about Christine is the generous mentorship she has provided over the years to many of her colleagues, including countless women,” Iger said in a news release. “She opened doors, created opportunities and served as a role model for women at all levels of business – not just at Disney, but around the world.”

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