Bob Iger will step down as CEO of Walt Disney after 27 years at the company.

Robert A. Iger is now officially stepping down as chief executive of Walt Disney, he will do so effective immediately after 27 years at the company. He will be replaced by Bob Chapek, who was most recently chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products and oversaw the opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort, plus the addition of numerous guest offerings across Disney’s six resort destinations in the U.S.

According to official reporting from BusinessWire, Iger will assume the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2022.

“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO (…) I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney’s multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company’s creative endeavors,” said Mr. Iger.

“Bob will be the seventh CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history, and he has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century,” he added.

In Mr. Chapek’s new role as CEO, he will directly oversee all of the Company’s business segments and corporate functions. Mr. Chapek will report to the Executive Chairman, Mr. Iger, and the Board of Directors. He will be appointed to the Board at a later date. A new head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be named at a future time.

Iger’s tenure as the leader of the world’s most lucrative dream factory has been one long CEO highlight reel. But 2019 was an apex year where Disney reached new heights which include breaking the $10 billion global box office barrier, which took him to turn into TIME’s Businessperson of the Year 2019.


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