From the Walt Disney World News and written by: TMSM Avenger
Bob Iger will step down as Disney CEO and assume the role of executive chairman, Disney announced on Tuesday.
Bob Chapek, who most recently served as chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, will assume the role of CEO, effective immediately, Disney announced.
Shares of Disney fell about 2.5% after hours.
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.
Iger has beefed up Disney’s already-strong content library with several large acquisitions. Most recently, he ushered through Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, which would add even more content to its streaming library. He also added Star Wars and Marvel movies through its acquisitions of Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment, each for about $4 billion. Shortly into his tenure as CEO, Iger announced Disney’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios, which made popular films like “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo” before becoming part of Disney.
Iger also launched a theme park in Shanghai, further expanding Disney’s footprint across the globe and gaining 11 million visitors in its first year.
“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 will be on CNBC to discuss his succession with Julia Boorstin at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.