Bob Chapek named Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company

Feb 25, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday February 25, 2020 4:22pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company has announced that Bob Chapek is the new Chief Executive Officer of the company effective immediately. Bob Iger assumes role of Executive Chairman through 2021.

Here is the full release.

BURBANK, Calif., February 25, 2020—The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors announced today that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Robert A. Iger assumes the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.

“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,” Mr. Iger said. “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.”

Mr. Iger added: “Bob will be the seventh CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history, and he has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century. Throughout his career, Bob has led with integrity and conviction, always respecting Disney’s rich legacy while at the same time taking smart, innovative risks for the future. His success over the past 27 years reflects his visionary leadership and the strong business growth and stellar results he has consistently achieved in his roles at Parks, Consumer Products and the Studio. Under Bob’s leadership as CEO, our portfolio of great businesses and our amazing and talented people will continue to serve the Company and its shareholders well for years to come.”

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world, and to lead our exceptionally talented and dedicated cast members and employees,” Mr. Chapek said. “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. I share his commitment to creative excellence, technological innovation and international expansion, and I will continue to embrace these same strategic pillars going forward. Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking.”

Susan Arnold, independent Lead Director of the Disney Board, said, “The Board has been actively engaged in succession planning for the past several years, and after consideration of internal and external candidates, we unanimously elected Bob Chapek as the next CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Chapek has shown outstanding leadership and a proven ability to deliver strong results across a wide array of businesses, and his tremendous understanding of the breadth and depth of the Company and appreciation for the special connection between Disney and its consumers makes him the perfect choice as the next CEO.

“Mr. Chapek will also benefit from the guidance of one of the world’s most esteemed and successful business leaders, Bob Iger,” Ms. Arnold continued. “Over the past 15-plus years as CEO, Mr. Iger has transformed The Walt Disney Company, building on the Company’s history of great storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Twenty-First Century Fox and increasing the Company’s market capitalization fivefold. Disney has reached unparalleled financial and creative heights thanks to Mr. Iger’s strong leadership and clear strategic vision. We believe Mr. Chapek’s leadership and commitment to this strategy will ensure that the Company continues to create significant value for our shareholders in the years ahead.”

In Mr. Chapek’s new role as CEO, he will directly oversee all of the Company’s business segments and corporate functions. Mr. Chapek will report to the Executive Chairman, Mr. Iger, and the Board of Directors. He will be appointed to the Board at a later date. A new head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be named at a future time.

Mr. Chapek served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since the segment’s creation in 2018, and prior to that was Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts since 2015.

As Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Mr. Chapek oversaw the Company’s largest business segment, with operations around the globe and more than 170,000 employees worldwide. The segment includes Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, encompassing six resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia, a top-rated cruise line, a popular vacation ownership program, and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps, the world’s largest children’s print publisher, Disney store locations around the world, and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.

During his tenure at the Parks segment, Mr. Chapek oversaw the opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort; the addition of numerous guest offerings across Disney’s six resort destinations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including the creation of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World and the addition of Marvel-inspired attractions around the globe; and the expansion of Disney Cruise Line with the announced construction of three new ships.

From 2011 to 2015, Mr. Chapek was President of the former Disney Consumer Products segment, where he drove the technology-led transformation of the Company’s consumer products, retail and publishing operations. Prior to that, he served as President of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios and was responsible for overseeing the Studios’ overall content distribution strategy across multiple platforms including theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, pay TV, digital entertainment and new media. He also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the Company’s iconic films and transformed the primary format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.

Before joining Disney in 1993, Mr. Chapek worked in brand management at H.J. Heinz Company and in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.

Mr. Chapek earned a B.S. in Microbiology at Indiana University Bloomington and an MBA from Michigan State University.

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DonniePeverley1 day ago

Yeah i stopped reading after that bolded sentence. Everyone is entitlted to an opinion, but the general consensus (think rotten tomatoes website) is that movie was poor.

JD801 day ago

SheHulk is the top of the MCU D+ stuff so far in my opinion. Thor was pretty great. Strange 2 was pretty average at best.

Lilofan1 day ago

But at least your property values are up if you own.

HauntedPirate1 day ago

The last week or even last month doesn't concern me as much as performance this year so far. Brutal... for my 401k(s), that is.

CaptainAmerica1 day ago

Not just $DIS. The entire market threw up on its shoes last week. Don't look at your 401(k).

HauntedPirate1 day ago

Wow. Go on vacation for a few (well, 11) days and what happened to $DIS? It was floating around $110/share, today it's $95 and change?

DonniePeverley3 days ago

There is a worry about the quality of the output that is so far being released under Chapek. Seems alot of quanity over quality. Long term wise if you keep pushing quanity over quality you are going to see diminishing returns. Last few Marvel movies, marvel tv shows have been very average at least (thinking Thor, SheHulk etc).

RSoxNo19 days ago

I'm gonna call it. This was the wrong choice.

MrPromey14 days ago

Well, @MrPromey doesn't think anyone who acts like a big baby to people they disagree with is qualified to run a multinational media conglomerate so I'd suggest you hand the reigns to someone else and let them figure it out. Not sure who you're trying to impress or call to arms in this armchair debate with a post like this anyway but I guess the ad hominem attack is easier than actually talking to the points like I've bothered doing with you when I've replied to your condescending responses 👍 Also, I never said that so either your comprehension level is on par with your behavior or, well, whatever. Anyway, this show's I've clearly been wasting my time even talking to you so I'm out. Feel free to enjoy the victory of the last word.

CaptainAmerica14 days ago

In going to start an affinity platform for my multinational media conglomerate. Should I build it on top of my streaming platform that already has 150 million paid subscribers? No, no, I should start a new platform from scratch that has zero subscribers because @MrPromey doesn't think anything should ever be bundled with an SVOD product.

CaptainAmerica14 days ago

It's being built by the DMED people, i.e. the BAMTech and Hulu people, not the Parks people. They own the companies they bought, including the talent. Oh and the guy they poached from Apple.

MrPromey14 days ago

Yeah - that's how they managed to get streaming off the ground. That's why it actually worked - they didn't build it. But I'm talking about the rest of this stuff Bob is selling. My cell phone service "includes" AAA, Netflix, Apple TV, Peacock, and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now, too... Also a free Whoper from Burger King this week but they're still my cell phone company - not my road service streaming platform burger place. With stuff like that and your Amex those are traditionally referred to as perks. So yeah, if Disney wants to offer "perks" for being Disney+ subscribers, that's different from trying to brand it as the all things Disney thing. This feels like they're trying to make the Disney+ subscription and by virtue, that service, central to any Disney "fan's" relationship with the company. I can't tell if you are missing my point or just ignoring it.

MrPromey14 days ago

Yes, I'm aware. Maybe I should have made "products" bold and a font size larger to emphasize my meaning. Maybe I've just been reading too much lately about global issues and some of rediculous propaganda being vomited up by a certain country to justify certain actions and losses but shoving this all under the "umbrella" of their money-losing streaming service feels like a very cynical way to push that particular business. Otherwise, why choose the money-losing VOD streaming service to brand the whole thing under? Instead of coming up with a new "umbrella" not anchored to any single product or service in the company?

CaptainAmerica14 days ago

The "Disney bundle" already exists. Once they add ESPN proper to ESPN+, they will have essentially replaced the cable bundle a under their umbrella. I think what you're missing is that you're envisioning this as a one-size-fits-all thing. Instead, think of Disney+ as an umbrella with various add-ons.