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Disney Names Bob Chapek CEO as Iger Steps Down

By John Ballard – Feb 25, 2020 at 5:03PM

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Chapek has worked at Disney in various roles since 1993.

It's been known for a while that Bob Iger, who has served as Walt Disney's (DIS -0.75%) CEO since 2005, was going to be stepping down by 2021. 

But on Tuesday, Disney made it official by announcing that Bog Iger will transition to the role of Executive Chairman, where he will direct the company's "creative endeavors." Bob Chapek, who recently served as Disney's Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products, will assume the role of CEO. 

Disney's Bob Iger and Bob Chapek standing in front of the Star Wars attraction at Disneyland.

Image source: Walt Disney.

Disney is stacked with talent

It's always a good reflection of a company's culture when new executives are promoted from within, and Disney certainly did that here.

From 2011 to 2015, Chapek oversaw Disney's consumer products segment. Prior to that, he was President of distribution at The Walt Disney Studios, and he has also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertaiment business. Since 2015, Chapek has overseen Disney's parks, experiences, and products. 

Bob Iger's contract with Disney doesn't expire until Dec. 31, 2021,  so it's a big plus that he will be sticking around to guide Chapek into his new role. 

Chapek can certainly learn a lot, because as Susan Arnold, Lead Director of the Disney board stated, "Mr. Iger has transformed The Walt Disney Company, building on the company's history of great storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Twenty-First Century Fox and increasing the company's market capitalization fivefold." 

With Disney humming along after the launch of Disney+, it seems a perfect time for Chapek to come in. Investors shouldn't expect any dramatic changes to how Disney does things. As Chapek expressed in a statement, "I share [Bob Iger's] commitment to creative excellence, technological innovation, and international expansion, and I will continue to embrace these same strategic pillars going forward." 

John Ballard owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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