Disney announced Tuesday that CEO Bob Iger will step down and become executive chairman through 2021, effective immediately. Bob Chapek, who most recently served as chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, will assume the role of CEO.
Iger will remain executive chairman of Disney through the end of 2021, according to the company. He has been instrumental in making Disney a media powerhouse with key acquisitions and content plays. He launched Disney+, immediately making Disney a popular streaming service provider. Disney said the service had 26.5 million paying subscribers during the first quarter of 2020 after launching in November…
“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.
Iger had been planning his succession for a while, saying at Disney’s investor day last year that “2021 will be the time for me to finally step down.” Iger has been CEO of Disney since 2005. He’s pushed back his retirement several times in recent years… On a call with investors shortly after the announcement, Iger addressed the timing of his announcement, which happened 22 months before he was expected to retire at the end of 2021. Iger said he decided to step down now because he wanted to focus on the creative side now that major projects like the Fox merger and launch of Disney+ were behind him. Iger said he would be able to help transition Chapek into the role while serving as executive chairman.
MacDailyNews Take: The end of an era. Bob Iger is the man who Steve Jobs told something that only his wife Laurene and his doctors knew at the time, that his cancer had returned. (See: Disney CEO Bob Iger remembers Steve Jobs: ‘We felt we could say anything to each other’)