In what can only be described as a shocking move, Bob Iger is stepping down as chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co. He will be replaced by Bob Chapek as CEO, effective immediately.
Bob Iger, who had assumed the role of Disney CEO fifteen years back, will now take up the role of the company’s executive chairman until the end of his contract on December 31, 2021. During his tenure as CEO, Iger strengthened the company by acquiring several major studios, including Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. He also led Disney’s foray into the subscription video market with Disney+.
Expressing confidence in Bob Chapek as his successor, Iger said in a statement:
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.
Bob Chapek, who most recently led Disney’s parks and consumer products division, has been with the company for 27 years. Even though the announcement has come as a shock to many, Iger told investors that Chapek was chosen as his successor by the board “some time ago.”