Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down on Tuesday, and the company had a replacement ready to go. According to a report by Variety, Disney announced that its new Chief Executive Officer would be Bob Chapek, former chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products. The switch takes effect immediately.
Iger has had a long and successful run with Disney, but he has been saying that he intended to step down as CEO when his contract was over. True to his word, Iger is leaving the lead role at Disney, but he will reportedly stay on as executive chairman.
"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 said in a statement. "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."
As for Chapek, he has worked for Disney for 27 years now, with the parks job being his most recent. He issued a statement as well, saying he has learned a lot from Iger's work in recent years.
"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," 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," he went on. "Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking."
Iger was Disney's CEO for 15 years, and notably led the company through huge successes like the acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the launch of Disney+. He has been signaling his departure from Disney's hands-on leadership for a while now, including the release of his memoir in the winter. The book is titled The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.
Chapek was reportedly chosen unanimously by the board at Disney. Iger expressed full confidence in him as his replacement, emphasizing his loyalty to the company itself.
"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," he said. "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."