Earlier this week, media circles were buzzing when Anne Sweeney announced she was leaving her position as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group. After 18 years at the company, Sweeney is now going to pursue her dream of becoming a director.
Dubbed “Hollywood’s most powerful woman” by The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney’s exit nearly immediately incited speculation regarding her successor. Whomever Disney CEO Robert Iger taps next will be handed an immense task: overseeing ABC’s broadcast programming and Disney’s cable slate, and matching — or topping — the impressive $2.6 billion in profits Sweeney helped generate for the company last year alone. Among the names reportedly in the mix for a race that’s being compared to a political election are Disney CFO James Rasulo, Disney parks chief Thomas Staggs, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.