In a surprising announcement shortly after the stock market closed for the day on Thursday, February 25, the Walt Disney Company announced that its long-time and very successful CEO Bob Iger was stepping down from the position, effective immediately. The chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Bob Chapek, is the new CEO.
Iger is not done yet though. He will stay on through his contract period which runs through December 31, 2021, as the executive chairman of the company, meaning Chapek will still answer to him. He will also stay on as the head of the board of directors.
On a conference call, Iger told shareholders “I felt that I should spend as much time as possible with the creative side of our businesses.” It’s reassuring to know that he will still be leading the creative side of the company for the time being as he’s responsible for Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel becoming part of the Disney company.
What exactly will this mean for the company in the long-term? We’ll have to wait and see. Chapek has a lot of critics, especially amongst parks fans, but hopefully we’ll continue to see continued expansion, new attractions, and more in the years to come. Hopefully in the next 22 months Disney will find Chapek a strong second in command that can help on the creative side of things.