BURBANK, California - The Walt Disney Company has appointed Bob Chapek as CEO with immediate effect, replacing Bob Igor who will continue to head the board of directors of the company as Executive Chairman.
Mr. Chapek until Tuesday had been Disney's Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Iger will direct the Company's creative endeavors, as well as leading the board while lending his experience, leadership and guidance towards a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract which runs until 31 December next year. Igor had served as CEO of Disney for the past fifteen years.
"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," Iger said Tuesday. "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."
Chapek will be the seventh CEO in Disney's nearly 100-year history.
"He has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century. Throughout his career, Bob has led with integrity and conviction, always respecting Disney's rich legacy while at the same time taking smart, innovative risks for the future. His success over the past 27 years reflects his visionary leadership and the strong business growth and stellar results he has consistently achieved in his roles at Parks, Consumer Products and the Studio. Under Bob's leadership as CEO, our portfolio of great businesses and our amazing and talented people will continue to serve the Company and its shareholders well for years to come," Iger said.
"I am incredibly honored 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 Tuesday. "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. Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking."
Susan Arnold, independent Lead Director of the Disney Board, said, "The Board has been actively engaged in succession planning for the past several years, and after consideration of internal and external candidates, we unanimously elected Bob Chapek as the next CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Chapek has shown outstanding leadership and a proven ability to deliver strong results across a wide array of businesses, and his tremendous understanding of the breadth and depth of the Company and appreciation for the special connection between Disney and its consumers makes him the perfect choice as the next CEO."
"Mr. Chapek will also benefit from the guidance of one of the world's most esteemed and successful business leaders, Bob Iger," Ms. Arnold added. "Over the past 15 years as CEO, Mr. Iger has transformed The Walt Disney Company, building on the Company's history of great storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Twenty-First Century Fox and increasing the Company's market capitalization fivefold. Disney has reached unparalleled financial and creative heights thanks to Mr. Iger's strong leadership and clear strategic vision. We believe Mr. Chapek's leadership and commitment to this strategy will ensure that the Company continues to create significant value for our shareholders in the years ahead."
In Chapek's new role as CEO, he will directly oversee all of the Company's business segments and corporate functions. He will report to Iger, and the Board of Directors. He will be appointed to the Board at a later date, the company said in a statement. A new head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be named at a future time.