Mumbai: US and global media conglomerate Disney has announced that Robert A. Iger is returning to lead Disney as CEO, effective immediately. Iger, who spent more than four decades at the company, including 15 years from 2005-2020 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. Chapek spent less than three years as CEO. Chapek's contract had been extended in June 2022 for three years. The earlier contract had been scheduled to expire in February 2023.
"We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. 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," said The Walt Disney Co. chairman of the board Susan E. Arnold. "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."
The position of chairman of the board remains unchanged, with Arnold serving in that capacity.
"I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the board to return as its CEO. 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 honoured to be asked to lead this extraordinary team once more, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling," Iger said.
During his 15-year stint with Disney, Iger helped build 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 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 endeavours until his departure as executive chairman last December, and the company’s pipeline of content is a testament to his leadership and vision.