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Disney’s CEO Dilemma?


Shares of Walt Disney fell on Tuesday after the surprise announcement Chief Operating Officer Thomas Staggs would be leaving the company. Staggs was viewed as Bob Iger's heir apparent.

Who is next in line as Disney CEO? Look no further than someone already in the media industry, according Doug Creutz, a Cowen & Co. analyst.

"If you're looking for someone who runs a content company, you have to stay in the media industry", he said on CNBC's Halftime Report.

Creutz on Disney: No one saw this coming

The list of possible successors may be short. "I don't know that there's a really long list of candidates of people who could both handle a company the scope of Disney and are good on the creative side," he added.

Staggs' replacement may not receive a warm welcome, said Creutz. "People love Bob Iger, so whoever comes in is probably going to be perceived unfavorably."

Creutz has a market perform rating and $88 price target on Disney.

The Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Getty Images

Things will remain status quo as long as Bob Iger continues to run the show, according to Stephanie Link, TIAA Global Asset Management Portfolio Manager.

Link is worried about the fundamentals. "Fundamentals are challenging right now for ESPN's business. They are slowing," Link said.

Pete Najarian disagrees with Wall Street's worries over Disney's succession plan. "Today's move is absolutely about the succession plan, and it really shouldn't be. The company can now start going through the types of candidates they really want in place," Najarian argued.

Disney has a smart board and may have someone already in mind, said Joe Terranova.

—By CNBC Producer Bree Kelly. Follow her on Twitter @Bree_Kelly