Bob Iger steps down as Disney CEO after 15 years at helm

February 26, 2020 09:40
Stepping down as CEO, Bob Iger aims to devote time to the creative side of Disney's business until his contract expires at the end of 2021. Photo: Reuters

Robert Iger will step down as chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co, handing the reins to Disney Parks head Bob Chapek, Reuters reports, citing a company announcement. 

Iger will assume the post of executive chairman and direct the firm's "creative endeavors” until his contract ends on Dec. 31, 2021, according to the report.

“The company has gotten larger and more complex just in the recent 12 months,” Iger was quoted as saying on a conference call on Tuesday, citing its purchase of 21st Century Fox and launch of direct-to-consumer services such as Disney+ last year.

"I felt that with the asset bases in place and with our strategy deployed I should be spending as much time as possible on the creative side of our business."

Chapek, who will be the seventh CEO in Disney's nearly 100-year history, has most recently served as the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. He will report to Iger.

In Chapek’s new role, which is effective immediately, the company said he will directly oversee all of Disney’s business segments and corporate functions.

As chairman of Disney theme parks division, Chapek oversaw Disney’s largest business segment, including the opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in mainland China. He joined Disney in 1993.

Iger, who has been CEO since 2005, built up the Disney brand through a series of acquisitions, including animation studio Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, and “Star Wars” franchise owner Lucasfilm in 2012.

His biggest bet was the purchase of 21st Century Fox, a deal that was instrumental in launching Disney+.

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