Mark Parker named the new chairman of the Walt Disney Company

Jan 11, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday January 11, 2023 4:32pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has announced that Mark Parker, a Disney director since 2016 and Executive Chairman of NIKE, will succeed Susan Arnold as independent Chairman following Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Notably, the new chairman will also chair a newly created Succession Planning Committee of the Board, which will advise the Board on CEO succession planning, including review of internal and external candidates.

Mr. Parker, a seven-year member of the Disney Board and Executive Chairman of NIKE, Inc., will succeed Susan E. Arnold, who will not stand for re-election pursuant to the 15-year term limit under Disney’s Board Tenure Policy. As a result, the size of the Board will be reduced to 11 members.

“Mark Parker is an incredibly well-respected leader who over seven years as a Disney director has helped the Company effectively navigate through a time of unprecedented change,” Ms. Arnold said. “During his four decades at NIKE, Mark has led one of the world’s most recognized consumer brands through various market evolutions and a successful CEO transition, and he is uniquely positioned to chair the Disney Board during this period of transformation.”

“Mark Parker’s vision, incredible depth of experience and wise counsel have been invaluable to Disney, and I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role, along with our other directors, as we chart the future course for this amazing company,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “On behalf of my fellow Board members and the entire Disney management team, I also want to thank Susan for her superb leadership as Chairman and for her tireless work over the past 15 years as an exemplary steward of the Disney brand.”

Said Mr. Parker: “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Disney’s Chairman, and I look forward to working closely with Bob and his management team on a strategy of growth that balances investment with profitability, while preserving Disney’s core mission of creative excellence, to deliver shareholder value. At the same time, it is the top priority of mine and the Board’s to identify and prepare a successful CEO successor, and that process has already begun.”

Mr. Parker will also chair a newly created Succession Planning Committee of the Board, which will advise the Board on CEO succession planning, including review of internal and external candidates. Mr. Parker served as NIKE’s Chairman and CEO until 2020, when he became Executive Chairman.

The Walt Disney Company Board has continued to evolve to ensure it has the right combination of backgrounds, skill sets and perspectives to guide the Company into the future. Today, Disney’s directors bring experience across a relevant range of disciplines, including brand, marketing and retail, direct-to-consumer expertise, and technology and innovation.

The Board is nominating for re-election at the Company’s Annual Meeting incumbent directors Mary T. Barra, Safra A. Catz, Amy L. Chang, Francis A. deSouza, Carolyn Everson, Michael B.G. Froman, Robert A. Iger, Maria Elena Lagomasino, Calvin R. McDonald, Mark G. Parker and Derica W. Rice.

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Disney IrishJan 14, 2023

That is irrelevant as she is termed out per the BoD rules. So doesn’t matter the contents of any phone call asking Iger to come back, which 100% happened as that is the role of the Chairman of the Board.

Disstevefan1Jan 14, 2023

Excellent! Half way there. Is there a transcript of the phone call?

Disney IrishJan 14, 2023

Now if there was only a publicly available document that describes the BoD rules and term limits and such.

Baloo62Jan 14, 2023

Hey Disney! Game of Thrones called. They want their story line back. And Karma is holding on Line 2.

Disstevefan1Jan 13, 2023

I will take your word for it. I wasn’t there, I wasn’t on the the call and I never saw the documented rules, contracts, about term limits.

MisterPenguinJan 13, 2023

Susan was the one who picked up the phone and called Iger to replace Chapek. Some ally.

Disstevefan1Jan 13, 2023

You misread my post. I said, "The term limit is something we were told was a rule". It doesn't matter, I will take your word for it, Susan Arnold was removed due a term limit and not because she was an Chapek ally. Don't worry, there will for sure be more significant issues with TWDC we can discuss going forward.

MisterPenguinJan 13, 2023

I don't know if their bylaws would allow a simple vote of the board to extend a Director's term limit or if it would have to be voted on by the stockholders at the annual meeting. And neither do you. Unless we do some research. But you acknowledge it's a rule. We means that there is no willy-nilly 'churn' going on.

Disstevefan1Jan 13, 2023

Super poor analogy! It's a physical and scientific fact the earth is round. The term limit is something we were told was a rule and rules are made to be broken and (probably could be extended) depending on the induvial.

MisterPenguinJan 13, 2023

You don't have to buy that the earth is round, either. But reality will be what reality is despite your beliefs.

Slpy3270Jan 13, 2023

Depends on whether or not loyal Disney investors who have owned the company for decades have any patience left. It was one of the many factors that led to Time Warner getting sold to AT&T; it was either that or investors would break the thing up. But Bob Iger isn't Jeff Bewkes. And he actually cares about his legacy.

Slpy3270Jan 13, 2023

Seems like Peltz doesn't want any Iger loyalists making decisions for Disney. Got a feeling the shareholder meeting in March will be more and more of a referendum on Iger's legacy.

Disstevefan1Jan 12, 2023

I don’t buy the term limit cr@p. Anyway I am more worried about what the Parker fellow will do.. It will be interesting to watch.

flynnibusJan 12, 2023

No - churn means the turnover of people leaving in a short period. You have the two highest positions in the business LEAVING within weeks of each other… combined with no communication about this plan. Add in that the new ceo is temporary and expected to cycle out within a short amount of time. That’s three CEOs and two chairman in a short period. Add in that the prior chairman had only been in the role for 2 years herself. So yeah, disney facing huge churn in it’s executive leadership in a relatively short period. Three ceo changes… three chairman changes…