Disney bids goodbye to CEO Bob Iger. He is to be replaced by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Bob Chapek as CEO, effective immediately. He, however, will act as the executive chairman through the end of 2021 and will focus on creative endeavours.
In a call with investors, Iger said that he wanted to spend time on the creative side of Disney since the asset base, as well as the strategy, were all in place. He also added that his main goal was to get everything creative to be correct.
The company added that Chapek’s current role will be to oversee Disney’s global hub, including the stories, characters, and franchises. Notably, Chapek assumed leadership of the new job in March 2018. When Bob Iger announced his retirement in 2018, Chapek was one of the top candidates, along with direct-to-consumer head Kevin Mayer. Moreover, an SEC filing confirms that Iger will continue to guide the content side of Disney.
Iger further added that this was the optimal time to transition to a new CEO, with the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer business and the integration of 21st Century Fox.
Chapek is the seventh CEO in Disney’s history. Iger noted that Chapek has proven to possess visionary leadership qualities over the last 27 years with the company.
Iger’s suitcase is also quite full of his accomplishments. He has been the face of the company for the past 15 years, after he succeeded long-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner on March 15, 2005. In his first year as the CEO, Disney’s relationship with Apple CEO Steve Jobs was restored and the company also acquired Pixar for just over $7 billion.
Another big purchase for the company came when they bought Marvel Entertainment in August 2019, for just over $4 billion. That purchase has generated more than $28 million at the box office alone, that too without merchandise. After that, Disney bought Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox – both of which have opened up new avenues for them.
But the biggest among all of these ventures was probably moving Disney into the direct-to-consumer territory with the release of Disney Plus. Iger and Mayer pushed the company to amass more than 28 million subscribers to its Disney Plus platform in just over three months.
With all of that said, Iger, along with being associated with the creative side of Disney, will also be helping Chapek know that end of the business well. This is to make him business-ready for when Iger leaves as the executive chairman in 2021 so that he will be able to execute everything he needs to smoothly as CEO.