For those wondering when Bob Iger would actually step down as Chief Executive of The Walt Disney Company, that moment has arrived.
Disney’s Board of Directors announced Tuesday after the Closing Bell on Wall Street that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, rising from Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
For Iger, the role of Executive Chairman will be held — for now.
Iger will direct Disney’s “creative endeavors,” while leading the Board and “providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.”
In a statement, Iger said, “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. 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 endeavors.”
Speaking of Chapek, Iger added, “Bob will be the seventh CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history, and he has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century. Throughout his career, Bob has led with integrity and conviction, always respecting Disney’s rich legacy while at the same time taking smart, innovative risks for the future. His success over the past 27 years reflects his visionary leadership and the strong business growth and stellar results he has consistently achieved in his roles at Parks, Consumer Products and the Studio. Under Bob’s leadership as CEO, our portfolio of great businesses and our amazing and talented people will continue to serve the Company and its shareholders well for years to come.”
Before joining Disney in 1993, Mr. Chapek worked in brand management at H.J. Heinz Company and in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.