Bob Chapek

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Outlines Focus for the Future with Three Pillars

As Disney gears up for its 100th anniversary, it isn’t just looking at the past. In a memo from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the next 100 years are being looked at as well. In the memo, Chapek sets the focus for the company’s next 100 years.

The focus is narrowed down to “three strategic pillars.” They are:

  • Storytelling Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Relentless Focus on Audience

As he focused on the future, he also acknowledged what the company has gone through in the past. “Thanks to you, we are weathering the pandemic and emerging stronger than ever. Over the last two years, we continued to tell the world’s best stories, reorganized, and accelerated our transformation to better serve audiences and guests.” Chapek shared. “We looked inward during a time of social disruption, saw how much was left to do, and made significant change. And of course, we underwent a leadership change—and I am enormously grateful for the tremendous foundation Bob Iger left us.”

Chapek also shared that the future could look different for Disney workers who have seen their work environments change through the pandemic. “Our long-term goal is to provide greater flexibility, and your leaders will be in touch as plans evolve.”

The real goal of everything Chapek is intending to do is to “set the stage for our second century, and ensure Disney’s next 100 years are as successful as our first.”

The full memo can be read below. What do you think of these three pillars that Bob Chapek has outlined for the future of The Walt Disney Company?

Team,

As we begin the New Year, I want to share our mission and the strategic pillars that will be key to our success—but first, I want to start 2022 on a note of gratitude for all of you, your talent, dedication, and optimism during the most disruptive time in our company’s history.

Thanks to you, we are weathering the pandemic and emerging stronger than ever. Over the last two years, we continued to tell the world’s best stories, reorganized, and accelerated our transformation to better serve audiences and guests. We looked inward during a time of social disruption, saw how much was left to do, and made significant change. And of course, we underwent a leadership change—and I am enormously grateful for the tremendous foundation Bob Iger left us.

You achieved those things during a once-in-a-century pandemic, and I want to acknowledge those whose roles require them to be in the office or one of our parks, as well as those working from home while managing at-home learning and gaps in childcare. I also appreciate your patience as we begin reopening our offices. Our long-term goal is to provide greater flexibility, and your leaders will be in touch as plans evolve.

It’s ironic that this disruption is happening as we prepare to celebrate our company’s 100th anniversary. For nearly a century, we have defined and redefined entertainment, created countless lifelong memories, and delighted fans and families around the world. It’s a legacy that is simply unrivalled—and a welcome responsibility for us to build upon.

And so I believe our mission for this year is clear: set the stage for our second century, and ensure Disney’s next 100 years are as successful as our first. To do that, we will focus on three pillars.

First, storytelling excellence. What makes Disney so unique is that the stories we tell mean something to people. They inspire, give hope, bring us together, illuminate the world around us, and create memories. That is Disney magic, and we must continue to set the creative bar higher and higher. To that end—and in addition to all my other creative meetings—I am establishing a new standing monthly meeting with our senior creative leaders to discuss the opportunities we face as a storytelling enterprise. This will encourage collaboration, sharing of best practices, and stimulate cross-studio ideation.

Second, innovation. Since Steamboat Willie, we have been the world’s foremost innovative storytellers. That must continue as technology evolves, giving our creative teams new canvases like the metaverse on which to paint. We should be especially innovative as we seek to bring stories to life in new ways—particularly if they enhance what many call our “franchise ecosystem,” which is one of the things that sets us apart.

And third, relentless focus on our audience. We are a big company with many constituents and stakeholders, all of whom have a place in our decision-making. But at the end of the day, our most important guide—our North Star—is the consumer. Right now, their behavior tells us and our industry that the way they want to experience entertainment is changing—and changing fast thanks to technology and the pandemic. We must evolve with our audience, not work against them. And so we will put them at the center of every decision we make.

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