Bob Iger, who has led the Walt Disney Company for almost 15 years, will step down as CEO effective immediately.
Mr Iger will stay on as executive chairman to direct the company’s creative endeavours while ensuring a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on 31 December 2021. He will be replaced as CEO by Bob Chapek, who most recently served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of 21st 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 endeavours.”
Mr Iger led the company through the launch of Disney+, and the acquisition of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and 21st Century Fox.
Mr Chapek will be only the seventh CEO in the company’s almost hundred-year history.
“I am incredibly honoured 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,” Mr 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.”