BREAKING: Bob Chapek Named New CEO of The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company has named Bob Chapek its seventh chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Current chief, Bob Iger will assume the role of Executive Chairman and 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 December 31, 2021.

Chapek has been chairman of the Parks, Experience and Products unit up until this point. A new head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be named at a future time.

“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,” Iger says.

For more information, here is the official Disney press release for the announcement:

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.

“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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wait
wait
5 months ago

Did April Fool’s Day come in February this year?

Chuck aka More Beverly Please
Chuck aka More Beverly Please
5 months ago

Oh no. What could be worse?

Victoria
Victoria
5 months ago

I never wanted something to be fake news more than this.

Price
Price
5 months ago
Reply to  Victoria

You and me Both >:(

#FireBobChapek

Impressions de Frank
Impressions de Frank
5 months ago

He majored in microbiology but can’t seem to know what a fungus he is. What a mutation. Now THAT’s a pandemic.

Jon
Jon
5 months ago

That’s “doesn’t seem to know.” Grammar is your friend.

Tyler West
Tyler West
5 months ago

Get the Regis video ready…

Dizzylander
Dizzylander
5 months ago

I have a bad feeling about this….

JOHN SNOW
JOHN SNOW
5 months ago

NOOOOOO

Timothy Cochrane
Timothy Cochrane
5 months ago

So will having him further from parks reduce some of his horrible choices at the parks or just intensify the problems.

Paul Zimmerman
Paul Zimmerman
5 months ago

I want Eisner back.

Aaron
Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Zimmerman

Eisner had a great run at first, but much of his time at Disney was a struggle. So much that they were almost taken over by other companies and had to push every idea through a strict strategic planning division, which obviously stifled creativity greatly.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago

I don’t know if this is really good news or really bad news. Do we really want the guy who’s pricing everyone but the 2% out of a vacation to be the CEO of the company? Who knows how many more price hikes he’d implement once he’s THE guy in charge. But then, maybe Chapek’s replacement would actually bring common sense to the financials.

Aaron
Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

2%? That’s a MASSIVE overexaggeration. Why does domestic attendance keep increasing despite these price raises? It’s because they’re introducing new attractions that require them to keep demand in check. Without this, under current and near future circumstances, they’d be at capacity every day.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

I’m actually seeing more international tourists to Disney than in the past. I hear Spanish, Portuguese, AND Mandarin more frequently than English lately, and now I’m even hearing French a fair amount. And of the English speakers, quite a few are from the UK or Australia. Attendance at Florida keeps going up, but it’s not from the domestic population. And many of the domestic travelers who have middle-level or entry-level jobs are being forced to save up for who knows how long and having to choose the perfect date to visit. For many of the visitors for Rise of the… Read more »

Aaron
Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Prices won’t stay where they are in the coming years. Once demand balances out awhile after the opening of their new projects, they’ll lower them, that’s not just a prediction.

Wendell
Wendell
5 months ago

I just sold my Disney stock.

Troy
Troy
5 months ago
Reply to  Wendell

Smart!

Jason
Jason
5 months ago

“Bob Iger will assume the role of Executive Chairman and direct the company’s creative endeavors.” What exactly has Bob Iger done that is creative in the past with the Walt Disney Company. He basically bought other company’s creative people and ideas, launched Disney+ based on Netflix’s business model, and has simply released Disney’s past creative success back into theatres in a live action or CGI format. As for naming Bob Chapek CEO, I can see him running the company into the ground. Iger is simply leaving as he sees the writing on the wall that we are going into a… Read more »

Aaron
Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Jason

Bob Chapek will not run the company into the ground. If you think he’s so horrible, how has he been at Disney for 27 years? Bob Iger has done many creative things. Maybe you should look more into what he’s done at the company. Just as much as Eisner did in his successful part as CEO.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

To be fair, Eisner was at Disney almost the same amount of time, and half of that was spent running Disney into the ground.

James C.
James C.
5 months ago
Reply to  Jason

I think Bob Iger saying he’s taking on a creative role is like other Disney execs going to “Worldwide operations”(out to pasture) Remember Meg Crofton, AL Weiss???? Lol

Jim Williams
Jim Williams
5 months ago

Walt’s head is spinning around in its freezer.

Cassie
Cassie
5 months ago

He won’t pull off a sweater vest like Iger can. What deal at what crossroads with what devil made this happen?

Katie
Katie
5 months ago

Not cool.

Laura
Laura
5 months ago

“not great, bob.”

i’m trying to find a silver lining here. maybe now if chapek’s hands are directly off the parks, his replacement might actually be someone who will once again care about the individual guest experience, like the company used to strive for. i know chapek will still get final say over everything, but that’s my hope, someone who isn’t a clone of chapek who simply sees all guests as a number wearing a dollar sign tshirt with mickey ears. this is otherwise very unhappy news. iger wasn’t great, but chapek is the worst. we need eisner back/

Aaron
Aaron
5 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Trust me, you don’t want Eisner back. He definitely did good for some time, but that obviously didn’t last throughout his whole tenure. He was risk-averse

Mary
Mary
5 months ago

Why?!?!?!

Kim Cee
5 months ago

Can’t wait for this week’s ParkCenter & News Tonight!

I Know Who Framed Roger Rabbit
I Know Who Framed Roger Rabbit
5 months ago

Bad movie tie-ins? Thank Bob Chapek; he invented them!

Tom
Tom
5 months ago

As I read this news I felt like I was getting punched in the stomach in my Krav Maga class. I can’ t believe the Disney board supported this. No offense to the follicle challenged amongst us (I am looking like a Benedictene Monk myself), but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to put Lex Luthor in charge on Warner Bros. instead? Sigh, this news, the pending Coronavirus’ impact on the travel industry and Disney parks, and the upcoming election, wake me in 2025 please.