In a statement Walt Disney Co stated, its chief exectuive Robert Iger will be stepping down and Bob Chapek, Disney’s Parks head will take over the reins of the company. Disney went on to dd, Iger will continue to keep a significant role at the company and will assume the post of executive chairman and direct the company’s “creative endeavors” until his contract ends on Dec. 31, 2021.
The development puts an end to years of speculation as to who will take over Hollywood’s most powerful studio.
“The company has gotten larger and more complex just in the recent 12 months,” said Iger citing its purchase of 21st Century Fox and launch of direct-to-consumer services such as Disney+ last year. “I felt that with the asset bases in place and with our strategy deployed I should be spending as much time as possible on the creative side of our business.”
Chapek, will be the 7th CEO in the company’s nearly 100-year history. He will report to Iger.
Chapek will assume his new role effective immediately, said Walt Disney. He will also directly oversee all of the company’s business segments and corporate functions.
Chapek “did a great job of growing the home entertainment business and built consumer products at Disney,” said Michael Wolf, founder of Activate, a technology and strategy consulting firm.
“Bob is one of the best managers in the entertainment business. And not a lot of people know about him.”
As CEO, Iger built up the Disney brand through a series of acquisitions, including the purchase of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, and Lucasfilm in 2012.
His biggest bet was the purchase of 21st Century Fox, a deal that was instrumental in launching Disney+.