In a surprising turn of events, Bob Iger takes over as CEO from Bob Chapek, who is stepping down from the company’s leadership role.
The change is effective immediately and was announced by Disney’s Board of Directors. According to an email sent to Disney employees, Iger has agreed to serve as CEO of Disney for two years. Iger will also work “closely with the board to find a successor to lead the company at the end of his term.”
“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and delighted that the board has asked me to return as CEO,” Iger said in a statement. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the world, and especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is inspiring. I am deeply honored to be asked to once again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled and bold storytelling.
Iger previously reigned as CEO from 2005 to 2020. He then retired two years ago and served as interim executive after appointing Chapek as the new chief executive. He’s also worked with the company to guide Chapek through the pandemic, so he’s been very active with the company since stepping down and now returning to the role. The move came as a surprise to industry insiders, who did not expect the 71-year-old to return to such a position.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors. . “The Board of Directors has concluded that as Disney enters an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this pivotal time.”
No further details of Chapek’s departure have been announced.
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