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David A. Grogan | cnbc
Disney said Monday that PepsiCo’s longtime chief financial officer Hugh Johnston will join the company as its new CFO, as the entertainment giant grapples with falling stock prices and streaming losses.
Johnson has spent the past 34 years with PepsiCo, holding various positions at the food and beverage giant before becoming CFO in 2010.
Johnson, who will start at Disney on Dec. 4, will report directly to CEO Bob Iger.
“Disney is an iconic company with one of the world’s best-loved brands and a strong financial foundation to support the future company that Bob and his team are building,” Johnson said in a statement. “Very few companies have stood the test of time as Disney has, making this company as rare as it is special.”
Disney’s previous CFO Christine McCarthy stepped down earlier this year. His resignation came amid a massive restructuring of the entertainment company during Iger’s second tenure as CEO, which began about a year earlier. The company cut 7,000 jobs in several rounds of layoffs this year.
Disney is considering several transformative transactions, including potentially selling ABC and looking for strategic partners for ESPN, as the traditional pay-TV business loses millions of subscribers each year. The company has already hired former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer to advise on reshaping the businesses.
The entertainment giant is under new pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz as it grapples with losses in its streaming business and the stock has fallen about 2% this year. Peltz’s firm, Trian Fund Management, has increased its stake in Disney to about 30 million shares. CNBC previously reported that the company plans to push for multiple seats on the board, including one for Peltz.
Disney is also searching for Iger’s successor as CEO after he returns to the role in November. CNBC reported earlier this year that Disney would like to name Iger’s successor by early 2025.
Disney is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday.
Disclosure: Hugh Johnston is a member CNBC’s CFO Council,