After 15 years of ruling the house of mouse, Bob Iger is stepping down from his CEO position for a more comfortable role within the massive entertainment company. Iger will remain with Disney in a creative position, but the keys to the kingdom are being handed to another Bob – Bob Chapek, whose previous stint was Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
“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,” 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 endeavors.”
“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. “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.”
Iger’s “sudden” resignation was a bit of a shock to many, but the former Disney CEO had been planning this for years. In fact, he told investors in 2019 that he’d be stepping down in 2021. It isn’t clear why he jumped ship early, but with recent successes such as the Fox acquisition and Disney+ launch, Iger is definitely ending on a high note.
The executive will be remembered for assimilating some of the world’s best-known brands into the Disney family. These include Pixar in 2006 ($7.4 billion), Marvel Entertainment in 2009 ($4 billion), Lucasfilm in 2012 ($4 billion), and 21st Century Fox in 2019 ($71 billion).
Speaking of Lucasfilm, there’s a certain other executive that people are calling to step down.