Disney CEO Bob Iger will be replaced by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Bob Chapek as CEO, effective immediately, the board of directors of Walt Disney Co. broke the news on Tuesday. Iger will stay on as executive chairman through the end of 2021, with a focus on creative endeavours.
“I felt with the asset base in place, and with the strategy deployed, I felt that I should be spending as much time as possible on the creative side of the business,” Iger said in a call with investors after the news, adding there’s “ample” projects to focus on. “Getting everything right creatively would be my number one goal.”
Chapek’s current role is described by the company as overseeing “the global hub where Disney’s stories, characters and franchises come to life.” Chapek assumed leadership of the new job in March 2018. Chapek was one of the leading candidates to replace Iger who announced his retirement in 2018. Chapek beat out other top candidates, like direct-to-consumer head Kevin Mayer for the role. Iger told investors on a call that “this is an exciting day for Disney, a historic day, and I am thrilled for Bob.” An SEC filing confirms that Iger’s continued guidance over the content side of Disney will remain a priority.
“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Iger said in a press release. “I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney’s multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company’s creative endeavours.”
Chapek is the seventh CEO in the company’s history. Iger noted that over the last 27 years with the company, Chapek has proven that he has the “visionary leadership” to lead the company.