Geez, what is happening?! Just days after WarnerMedia/AT&T fired DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio, word has arrived that Disney CEO Bob Iger is stepping down from his all-powerful position. But this seems to be a much smoother transition and one that was implemented by Iger himself.
He will be replaced by Bob Chapek, who until this point has served as chairman of Disney parks, experiences, and products. Iger will step down into the position of executive chairman through 2021, which means that he will oversee “creative strategy.” He will also continue to act as executive chairman of Disney during that time. Chapek will still report to Iger and will be appointed to the board of directors at a later date. This change has taken hold “effective immediately.” Disney stock dropped 2.5% following this announcement.
Last year, at an investors meeting, Iger stated:
“2021 will be the time for me to finally step down.”
Reportedly Iger has been planning to retire for a while, with the most recent plans for that to happen at the end of 2021, but even with the warnings, this change was still a shock to most.
Following the announcement, Iger stated that he wanted to spend more time focusing on the creative side of things before he retired from the company entirely.
For most of his tenure at Disney, Iger has somewhat dodged the spotlight, but his profile in the media has risen considerably in recent years, particularly in 2019 with the publication of his autobiography ‘The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO’. He was also named Businessperson of the Year, by Time Magazine.
Under Iger’s rule at Disney, the studio opened another successful theme park, Shanghai Disneyland. On a larger note, the powerhouse acquired Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm LTD, three of the most popular brands in entertainment. Most recently, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, adding a vast library of properties to Disney’s portfolio.
Iger’s most recent triumph was the launch of Disney+, a streaming service that has managed to burst through in a rapidly growing field of competitors, buoyed largely on the strength of the crowd-pleasing ‘Star Wars’ live-action series ‘The Mandalorian’. In addition to that, Disney bought out Comcast to become the sole owner of existing streaming service, Hulu.
It sounds as though this will be a smooth transition, but it remains to be seen if Chapek can continue landing the massive hits that Disney has scored under Iger’s command.
Are you worried about Disney’s future?