Disney Picks Bob Chapek to Replace Bob Iger as Next CEO

It’s the end of an era at The Walt Disney Company.

The conglomerate said on Tuesday that it is naming Bob Chapek as its next CEO, succeeding Bob Iger immediately. Iger is assuming the role of executive chairman and will lead the board through his contract’s end on Dec. 31, 2021.

Chapek, who has been with the company since 1993, has been chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since 2018. His new contract began on Feb. 24 and ends on Feb. 28, 2023, with his annual base salary increasing to $2.5 million. Chapek, who will become Disney’s seventh CEO, will report to Iger and the board of directors.

On a call with Wall Street analysts Tuesday, Iger said that the Disney board had identified Chapek as his potential successor “quite some time ago.” Iger added that the succession plan, “was not accelerated for any particular reason other than we thought the need was now to make this change.”

Since Iger took over as CEO of Disney in 2005, he has presided over a period of dramatic expansion for the company, leading buys of Pixar for $7.4 billion, Marvel for $4 billion and Lucasfilm for $4 billion. That strategy, a focus on acquiring franchise intellectual property, paid off. In 2019 alone, Disney films grossed an unprecedented $13 billion at the global box office, including seven blockbusters that hit the $1 billion mark.


Disney’s market cap was roughly $55 billion when Iger took over in 2005, peaked at over $260 billion in January, and as of Feb. 25 sits at $231 billion. And Iger has been one of the highest-paid CEOs in entertainment, with his compensation package at $47.5 million for the last fiscal year, falling from $65.6 million in fiscal 2018.

In March 2019, Iger presided over the closing of Disney’s biggest acquisition: the $71.3 billion megadeal for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox assets, including the historic 20th Century Fox studio, Fox Searchlight, FX Networks and National Geographic. Months later, Disney assumed full operational control over streamer Hulu. (Also on Tuesday, Disney promoted Hulu chief marketing officer Kelly Campbell to president of the streaming service.)

“The company has gotten larger and more complex in the recent 12 months,” Iger told analysts on the call Tuesday. “With the asset base in place, and our strategy essentially deployed, I felt that I should spend as much time as possible with the creative side of our businesses … because that becomes our biggest priority in 2021.”

(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter

Disney Picks Bob Chapek to Replace Bob Iger as Next CEO

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