Mitchell: Disney to Name Eisner Successor by June

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) Chairman George Mitchell said Tuesday that the media and theme park company's board was on track to name a successor to Chief Executive Michael Eisner (search) by June.

Disney's board stripped Eisner of his chairman title following last year's annual meeting after a strong protest of his stewardship. He has said he plans to leave the CEO post in September 2006 when his contract expires.

"We are committed to announcing our decision no later than this June," Mitchell told analysts at a meeting here. "There has been no prior determination. There are no preconditions."

Mitchell added that the entire board is en investors increasingly see Bob Iger (search), Disney's president, as a shoo-in, given a turnaround at the ABC network.

"There is no reason for the board not to give the job to Bob Iger," said Disney shareholder Jack Liebau of Liebau Asset Management. "If Bob Iger were named CEO that would certainly make a gradual transition easier for the company."

That could leave a lengthy transition period if Eisner stayed until the end of his contract.

Asked about a transition plan, Mitchell told Reuters, "We won't know that until we select the person. We will develop a transition plan that will depend in part on who the successor is."