On Sunday night, November 20, 2022, news broke that Robert A Iger was reappointed Chief Executive Officer by the board of The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately.
“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Iger said. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”
During Iger’s prior 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, he helped develop Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation, and international growth. He expanded on Disney’s legacy of unparalleled storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox and increased the Company’s market capitalization fivefold during his time as CEO. Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative endeavors until his departure as Executive Chairman last December, and the Company’s robust pipeline of content is a testament to his leadership and vision.
Iger, spent more than four decades at the Company, including 15 years as its CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years, with a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has stepped down from his position.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period.”
“Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide—all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership,” Arnold said.
Iger was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Disney in October 2005 and was elected Chairman in 2012. In February 2020, he assumed the role of Executive Chairman and directed the company’s creative endeavors until his retirement in December 2021. From 2000-2005, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Operating Officer. He officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as Chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group, and in 1999, was given the additional responsibility of President, Walt Disney International. In that role, Mr. Iger expanded and coordinated Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the company’s international growth today. As Chairman of the ABC Group, Mr. Iger oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and radio and publishing businesses, and also guided the complex merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company. During Mr. Iger’s years with ABC, he obtained hands-on experience in every aspect of the television business—including news, sports, and entertainment—as well as in program acquisition, rights negotiations, and business affairs. He began his career at ABC in 1974.
The change of command at the top of The Walt Disney Company comes days after Disney Cruise Line announced the acquisition of the partially completed Global Dream cruise ship and the continued expansion with the Disney Treasure and one additional Triton Class cruise ship following this summer’s launch of the Disney Wish.