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Disney CEO Bob Iger Steps Down, Promotes Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, to CEO

Jason Gurwin

Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has stepped down. The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors announced today that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Iger will assume the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board through the end of 2021. The decision to step down immediately and transition the company to a new leader comes after Iger launched Disney+ and led the $70B acquisition and integration of 21st Century Fox.

“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,” Mr. Iger said. “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.”

In Chapek’s new role as CEO, he will directly oversee all of the Company’s business segments and corporate functions. Chapek will report to Iger, and the Board of Directors, and will be named to the Board of Directors at a later date. A replacement for his role as head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be named at a future date.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world, and to lead our exceptionally talented and dedicated cast members and employees,” Chapek said.

“Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team. I share his commitment to creative excellence, technological innovation and international expansion, and I will continue to embrace these same strategic pillars going forward. Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking.”

As the seventh CEO in Disney’s history, Chapek led the largest business unit with over 170,000 employees. He oversaw the company’s travel and leisure business, resorts, and as well as the consumer product operations, and e-commerce platform. Joining Disney in 1993, Chapek ran the company’s Disney Consumer Products group, as well as the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Group — spearheading the Disney Vault strategy.