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Disney names Bob Chapek CEO; Iger to chair board through 2021
Disney’s Bob Iger out as CEO
Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger is reportedly stepping down from his role immediately and has named Bob Chapek as the new CEO.
Bob Iger is out as The Walt Disney Company CEO effective Tuesday, but he’ll remain as executive chairman of the company’s board through 2021.
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The Disney board named Bob Chapek as the company’s new CEO. He was most recently Disney’s chairman of parks, experiences and products.
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Iger has been with Disney since 1996 and took over as CEO in 2005 after the departure of Michael Eisner. Iger’s contract with Disney lasts through Dec. 31, 2021, and the company said in a press release that he will continue to direct its creative endeavors in his role on the board.
“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,” Iger said in a written statement.
Less than a year after taking over, Iger bought animation studio Pixar for $7.4 billion. He was close with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who was CEO of Pixar until Disney bought it, and Iger sat on Apple’s board until concerns over the companies’ competing streaming services led him to step down from Apple last year. Iger told Vanity Fair that he believed that if Jobs were alive, “We would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.”
The Pixar deal was his first big move, but would not be his last. His crowning achievement may be the $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox, combining two already-large movie catalogs into a Hollywood juggernaut. But even more than dominating at the box office, Iger has said the purchase was a key part of Disney’s plan to dive into streaming video.