The guard over at Disney has changed. Bob Chapek has officially been named the company's new CEO.
After 15 years at the helm, Bob Iger has stepped down as Disney's CEO. The Walt Disney Company made the announcement today, stating that it has named former Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Bob Chapek, as its new Chief Executive Officer.
However, Iger isn't stepping away completely—at least not yet. He will continue to serve as Disney's Executive Chairman "direct[ing] the Company’s creative endeavors" until his contract ends on December 31st, 2021.
“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 in the Disney 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 endeavors.”
Despite having incredibly extensive experience working on the Disney team (27 years), Chapek still has rather large shoes to fill. Iger not only helmed a series of multi-billion dollar acquisitions, including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Fox but he also successfully launched the cultural streaming phenomenon that is Disney+.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger gave Wall Street analysts a bit of insight into what the future requires of both the former and current Disney CEOs. "The company has gotten larger and more complex in the recent 12 months," Iger says. "With the asset base in place, and our strategy essentially deployed, I felt that I should spend as much time as possible with the creative side of our businesses… because that becomes our biggest priority in 2021. My goal is that when I leave here [Chapek] will be as steeped with all matters creative at the company as I am today."
It will be interesting to see what steps Disney takes in the coming years under Chapek and how much of an influence Iger's work will have on the company going forward.