Disney has announced that CEO Bob Iger is stepping down from his role, effective immediately. Bob Chapek, who served as chairman of Disney parks, will take over as CEO, while Iger will transition to the executive chairman role through 2021.
Iger’s role as executive chairman will ease the transition for Disney. Iger had previously announced his plans to step down as Disney CEO in 2021, and today’s announcement serves as official confirmation of that change. Iger had previously delayed his retirement multiple times, but with today’s announcement, the succession movement is seemingly officially in place.
In a statement to investors, Iger explained that now seemed like the optimal time for the change now that Disney+ has successfully debuted to the public. He will now be able to focus on creative projects and help transition Chapek into the CEO role. “With everything else falling into place, the time seemed right,” Iger said to investors.
“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well under way, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO.”
Iger said he decided to step down now because he wanted to focus on the creative side now that major projects like the Fox merger and launch of Disney+ were behind him. Iger said he would be able to help transition Chapek into the role while serving as executive chairman.
Iger had served as the Disney CEO since 2005. Iger made several notable deals during his tenure as Disney CEO, including acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, the launch of Disney+, and the opening of Disneyland in Shanghai.
He joined Apple’s board of directors in 2011, but stepped down from that role last year due to concerns over the growing competition between Disney+ and Apple TV+. Of course, now that Iger is on his way out at Disney, that conflict is technically no longer an issue.