Walt Disney Company executive chairman and former CEO Robert (Bob) Iger has confirmed that he’ll be leaving the media and entertainment conglomerate by 2021 end, and Tuesday’s (9 March) annual meeting of shareholders was his last.
As the CEO, Iger spearheaded acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. His 47-year tenure at The House of Mouse will end on 31 December 2021, when he’ll formally stepp down and pass on the baton to the new CEO Bob Chapek.
“I will leave at the end of December with a strong sense of pride and a deep sense of appreciation for the very special place Disney holds in the hearts of people all over the world,” he said during the investors call.
He heaped praises for his successor, Chapek, claiming that he will lead with the same principles that helped shape Disney into the magical company that it is today.
Chapek, speaking later at the event, added, “How grateful I am for the opportunity he has given me and for his faith in me. Bob has led this company to amazing heights over the years and I look forward to continuing to build on his remarkable legacy.”
Iger was named the chief executive in 2005, replacing Michael Eisner. In February 2020, much to everyone’s surprise, he stepped down from his role as CEO, citing a proper time for transition. Post his stint with Disney, Iger’s exact future plans are still unknown, though he has expressed interest in other endeavours in the past.
However, Iger will be departing the company when it is in a stronger position than it was six months ago. Disney shares have risen over the past year driven by the phenomenal performance of Disney+ within a year of its rollout. The shares are trading at about $195, well up from a $52-week low of $79. Its market cap is $354 billion.