One of the most confounding media business stories in recent memory is the sudden departure of Tom Staggs from Disney. Leading this great palace intrigue piece from the NYT is the story of then-CFO Staggs performing the Heimlich maneuver on CEO Bob Iger in the company boardroom in 2003:
Thomas O. Staggs, then the chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Company, was having lunch with Robert A. Iger and other high-ranking Disney executives in 2003 in the company’s boardroom when food lodged in Mr. Iger’s windpipe.
With Mr. Iger struggling to breathe and turning red, another executive started pounding his back, to no effect. Mr. Staggs leapt up, and applied the Heimlich maneuver so forcefully that he broke one of Mr. Iger’s ribs. Out popped a piece of chicken.
Stanley P. Gold, then a Disney director, sent Mr. Staggs a note: “You’re a hero.”