Bob Iger has stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, with immediate effect as Bob Chapek takes over as the new CEO.
Chapek will continue to report to Iger through the end of next year, until his contract expires on December 31, 2021.
In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin after his announcement, Iger said the CEO reporting structure is a way to ensure a smooth transition.
According to a statement released by Iger: “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.”
Noting that he has the “utmost confidence” in Chapek and looks forward to “working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role.”
Chapek said in a statement: “I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world. 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.”
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Iger said his succession plans were “actually a few years” in the making and that Chapek was identified “awhile ago as a likely candidate” to succeed him.
Iger said: “He ran one of our most complex, one of our important businesses, global parks and resorts, for instance, during a time of great capital investment and a time of great change, and did so very well,
“I’ve been with the company for 45 years, and was in the CEO job for 15 of those years,”