Over the last decade, such well-known high-profile companies such as Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett-Packard have seen their designated heirs to the top seat depart abruptly.
Botching up a succession at the No. 1 spot is costly. Disney shares were down close to 2% in trading after hours on the news of Skaggs departure.
StrategyX, known formerly as Booz & Co, analyzed nearly 5,000 CEO successions between 2000 and 2014 and they found the companies that had to fire CEOs lost over $1.8 billion in shareholder value in comparison to companies that had orchestrated the change at the top.
It is not clear what had led Staggs to resign, but Disney has its own form of turmoil in its executive suite.
A few decades ago, Disney was embroiled in a big battle between the CEO at the time Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg the second in command.
Katzenberg, spurned for the job of No. 2 after Frank Wells’ death in a helicopter accident, claimed Disney had reneged on its pledge to give him 2% of the profits from TV shows and films that were put into production or were acquired during his tenure of 10 years as the top executive for movies in the company.
The fight came close to turning into a public drama in the courtroom. It finally was settled during 1997 but cost the company $270 million and it helped to seal the demise of Eisner.
In 2011, Warner Bros fired CEO and President Alan Horn even after he had presided over a number of huge hits like The Dark Knight and Harry Potter. Horn, currently the Walt Disney Studios chairman, was pushed aside for Barry Meyer the chairman for Warner Bros.