Today, the Board for The Walt Disney Company unanimously voted to extend Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s contract by 3 years. Chapek is the 7th CEO of The Walt Disney Company and took over from the well-liked Bob Iger just ahead of the beginning of the pandemic two years. His first day in the role was February 25, 2020. Iger stayed on as Executive Chairman for two more years before retiring this last winter.
“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength,” Susan Arnold, the chairman of Disney’s board, said in a statement on Tuesday. “In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”
Chapek will be leading the company into its second century as the company approaches its 100th anniversary next year. He also has his own anniversary coming of nearly three decades with Disney.
“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support,” Chapek, who is 63, added. “I started at Disney almost 30 years ago, and today have the privilege of leading one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic companies, bringing joy to millions around the world. I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible storytellers, employees, and Cast Members who make magic every day.”
His tenure as CEO has seen both ups and downs as the company has gone through multiple storms. This has included personal controversies with talent, executives, and other leaders both in and out of Disney (mainly with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill). On the flip side, Disney+ has been a bright spot for Chapek and the company. Disney Parks have also seen a strong recovery since the pandemic.
Chapek worked in brand management at H.J. Heinz Company, and in advertising at J. Walter Thompson. He has a degree in microbiology from Indiana University Bloomington, and received his MBA from Michigan State University. Earlier in his three-decade career at Disney he was president of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios. In that role, he managed the Company’s film content distribution strategy across multiple platforms. He was also president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he led the organization to record-setting performances and played a key role in the commercialization of the Studio’s film business. After that, he moved on to lead Disney Consumer Products followed by being the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Both segments saw considerable growth under his leadership.
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