Battle of the Bobs: The Future of Disney

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The Verge

In a surprising turn of events this week, Bob Iger stepped down as CEO of The Walt Disney Company and Bob Chapek assumed the role of CEO.

Iger served as CEO of the multi-billion dollar company since 2005; the longest serving CEO in the company’s history.

According to the Walt Disney World Company website,

Mr. Iger built on Disney’s rich history of unforgettable storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019), as well as the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across multiple platforms, most recently leveraging cutting-edge direct-to-consumer technology to successfully launch ESPN+ in 2018 and the highly-anticipated Disney+ streaming service in November 2019.

During Mr. Iger’s tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2019); one of the “Best Employers” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2019 and 2018, respectively); one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2019); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2017); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013).

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LAMag.com

Bob Iger played an intrical part of bringing Disney to the place it is now. The gold standard in tourism and service, media, film, entertainment and more. Iger is central to Disney aquiring Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. With Disney, he has made high-risk investments that paid off in billions of dollars of return for the company.

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The Verge

Though the timing of the news was surprising, the move itself is not. Bob Iger has already pushed his retirement from the company twice and set a hard date for stepping down in 2021. While he has handed the reigns over to Bob Chapek, he has not left hte company. He has assumed the role of Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Before taking on the role of CEO, Bob Chapek has been with The Walt Disney Company for nearly three decades. Prior to accepting the CEO position, Chapek served as the company’s Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and prior to that Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

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Disney

Why Chapek?

There were several names bandied about regarding who would take over when Iger stepped aside. Chapek’s name was always in the mix but other names were tossed in the ring as well. What it likely came down to is that despite the strengths of many other candidates, Chapek has experience and expertise in each division that Disney has its teeth sank into; Theme parks, service, home media, entertainment and intellectual property, to name a few.

Chapek has a heavy hand in the park transformations including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avenger’s Campus in Disneyland and various attractions and areas of Shanghai Disney and Walt Disney World.

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Time

Don’t Count Iger Out

Iger isn’t leaving the company. His contract has him continuing with involvement in the company through the end of 2021. He will remain with the company in the role of Executive Chairman where he will share operational and board responsibilities with Chapek through the end of 2021. This is common preactice with Disney CEO’s and transitions. His goal with his new role is be more creative focused for the remainder of his tenure with the company.

We are excited to see where Bob Chapek takes Disney and equally excited that Bob Iger will remain on board for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

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