The Walt Disney Company has announced that its board of directors has unanimously voted to extend Bob Chapek’s contract as Chief Executive Officer for three years.
“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses—from parks to streaming—not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. “In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”
Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer said in a statement:
“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support. I started at Disney almost 30 years ago, and today have the privilege of leading one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic companies, bringing joy to millions around the world. I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible storytellers, employees, and Cast Members who make magic every day.”
Chapek, 63, has had a nearly 30-year career at Disney. Chapek became the 7th CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history just weeks before the company’s theme parks and the majority of its content production was shut down due to COVID-19. Since then, he has set Disney on a course to lead the entertainment industry well into the company’s next century, with a keen focus on storytelling excellence, innovation, and audiences.
Prior to becoming CEO, Chapek served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since the segment’s inception in 2018, and prior to that was Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts since 2015. Chapek also led Disney Consumer Products and served as president of Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios, and president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
This news hasn’t pleased many Disney fans due to Bob Chapek making some very public mistakes over his handling of the release of “Black Widow” on Disney+ Premiere Access and the “Don’t Say Gay” situation. But he has also been spearheading the shift of the company to focus on Disney+ and behind the expansion of the streaming service, beyond the core idea that Bob Iger had for the five brands, such as including more general entertainment and the addition of Star to Disney+ around the world. This announcement should slow down the discussion of him leaving or being fired but he will now need to show he is more than just cutting costs and bring some of the Disney magic back to the brand. Being a CEO during a pandemic isn’t going to be easy and required some unpopular decisions, but hopefully, moving forward, he can stop making public mistakes and get the company back on track.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.