Disney president Robert Iger has been chosen to succeed MichaelEisner as chief executive of the media conglomerate, according to an announcementby the company yesterday [13].

Iger's appointment follows more than a year of speculation andrumour at the studio, which at times has reached the depths of muck-racking morecommonly associated with a political election.

Disney also said on Sunday that Eisner had decided to leave the CEO post at the end of September -- a year earlier than previously planned. Iger was understood to be his first choice ofsuccessor.

However the appointment of Iger hasn't allowed the dust to settle,with dissident shareholders and former directors Roy Disney and Stanley Goldaccusing Disney of failing to find outside candidates.

"We definitely had choices - we made the right choice,"company chairman George Mitchell told reporters during a conference call.

Iger has been president and chief operating officer of Disneysince January 2000 and joined the company from ABC in 1996.

Disney isinvolved in ongoing exit negotiations with Harvey and Bob Weinstein's MiramaxFilms, while Pixar Animation Studios is parting company and looking for a newdistributor.