Bob Iger has stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Bob Chapek is the new CEO, the board of directors announced on Tuesday. He most recently served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. Iger has taken over as executive chairman and will direct the company’s creative endeavours, the company said. He will stay on at Disney until the end of his contract till December 31, 2021.
Iger said this is an optimal time for the transition as Disney has launched “direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway”. He will focus on the company’s “creative endeavours” and has the “utmost confidence” in Chapek.
Chapek has been with Disney since 27 years, and served as chairman of the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products since the segment’s creation in 2018, and prior to that served as chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts since 2015. He oversaw Disney’s travel and leisure business, along with toys, apparel, home goods, Disney stores across the globe, and e-commerce platform shopDisney. Chapek also oversaw the opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in China, along with expansion of other properties in Europe, US, and Asia.
Iger succeeded Michael Eisner in 2005. During his tenure, he oversaw Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Twenty First Century Fox, and increased the company’s market cap fivefold, said Susan Arnold, independent lead director on the Disney board. Among his final executions was the launch of Disney+, a streaming service to compete with Netflix.