Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that he's stepping down from his position effective immediately, and will be replaced by Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek.
Bob Iger, who served as the CEO of Disney since 2005, announced this week that he has stepped down from his position at the company, with Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek taking his place. The Walt Disney Company sent out a press release on Tuesday detailing the transition, noting that Iger's move will take place effective immediately. Iger will be transitioning to a new position, serving as director of Disney’s Creative Endeavors and leader of the board of directors, until his contract expires on December 31, 2021. “With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of 21st Century Fox well under way, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Iger said in the statement. “I have the utmost confidence in Bob [Chapek] and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months.”
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
While Iger's impending retirement has been predicted for quite some time now, this full-stop switch is definitely unexpected. Iger had been the head of the world-dominating business for 15 years. During his reign as CEO, he made monumental moves like purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012 and Marvel in 2009 for $4 billion each, as well as nabbing Pixar from Apple CEO Steve Jobs for $7.4 billion in 2006. Iger's final big project was the launch of Disney+ last year, and with the streaming service well underway, he decided it was time for a change.
MN Chan/Getty Images
His replacement, Bob Chapek, was voted in "unanimously" as the new CEO, according to the Disney Board’s lead director, Susan Arnold. Disney executives considered a heap of other candidates, but settled on Chapek, the leader of Disney’s Parks, Consumer Products, and Studio Businesses. Chapek has been with the company for 27 years, and oversaw massive projects like the launch of Shanghai Disney Resort and various Marvel- and Star Wars-themed park attractions, as well as the expansion of the Disney Cruise Line. “Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company,” said Chapek in the press release. “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.”