Susan Arnold to Succeed Bob Iger as Disney Chairman

December 1, 2021, 4:15 PM · Susan Arnold will succeed Bob Iger as Chairman of the Board of The Walt Disney Company after Iger departs at the end of the month, Disney announced today.

Iger stepped down as Disney's Chief Executive Officer in February 2020 and was replaced by Bob Chapek, the former head of Disney's theme parks division, though Iger remained as Chairman of the Board through his planned departure from the company at the end of this year.

Although Iger held both the CEO and Chairman roles for eight years, Disney does not always combine the two positions. For the first seven years that Iger served as CEO, Disney's board was chaired by U.S. Sen. George Mitchell and then John Pepper Jr. Like Pepper, Arnold comes to Disney from Procter & Gamble, where she was Vice Chairman and President. Arnold has sat on Disney's board for 14 years and has been serving as its independent Lead Director since 2018.

"Susan is an incredibly esteemed executive whose wealth of experience, unwavering integrity, and expert judgment have been invaluable to the Company since she first joined the Board in 2007," Iger said. "Having most recently served as independent Lead Director, Susan is the perfect choice for Chairman of the Board, and I am confident the Company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership. It has been a distinct honor to work with Susan and our many other talented directors, and I am incredibly grateful for the support and wise counsel they have provided during my tenure."

In addition to her roles at Disney and P&G, Arnold recently worked as operating executive of The Carlyle Group from 2013 to 2021. She also was a director of McDonald's Corp. from 2008 to 2016.

Arnold will be the first woman to head Disney's board. She will be Disney's 10th Chairman, a position first held by Walt Disney and then by his brother Roy.

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Replies (10)

December 1, 2021 at 6:41 PM

The Carlyle Group? Oh brother. She and Chapeskate will get along great. Maybe Carlyle can send in some Sardaukar to beat more money out of people while they stand in a five hour line for Rise of the Resistance. Ugh, Disney, what is happening to you!?

December 2, 2021 at 9:03 AM

Disney is leaving money on the floor not charging people more. The parks are crowded, AP's are selling out, merchandise is flying off the shelves, reservations are book months in advanced and people are actually using the lightning lane. It's not a value park, you aren't obligated to go.

December 2, 2021 at 1:06 PM

There could be an strong argument that money is left on the floor however, what is the point if the majority of the public cannot afford it? If Disney's model is to move away from being an affordable option, they just need to come out and say it. I don't believe what they charge for admission is unreasonable compared to how everything else is inflating. In fact, I believe the could charge even more and will. I would ask that you price out 7 day stay resort only at a deluxe resort for the lowest visited periods during the calendar year. Then, ask how many people can afford it, then add a 40% discount and ask how many people can afford it. It is ultimately a zero sum game in the sense that no matter how much we criticize the costs it's not relevant because an increasingly smaller amount can afford it.

But we don't ask those questions because they are not "pretty and happy".

The real problem is the level of services the customers are getting (including but not limited to what has and is being taken away) e.g. Magic Express, Limiting EMM to resort guests, Inexperienced Cast member Services, Entertainment and Limited Transportation options while paying those higher prices.

Returning to the topic, it would be interesting to observe what additional influences the Board of Directors will bring to the table and if they have true impact over Chapek's actions.

If anything, I would like to see him neutered to the point where he elects to leave on his own.

December 3, 2021 at 9:56 AM

I don't think the slightly raise prices every year thing is going to go away as long as they continue to fill up the parks, so while they may be able to make more money by jacking up the prices even more now, from a long term strategic planning point they can go to Wall Street every year and say they made more money than the year before.

Also Susan Arnold has been on Disney's board for a long time and its pretty well known as long as the company is doing well boards rarely ever step in and do anything, so I seriously doubt this will change anything at all. What would really change things, like anything else, is if people voted with their wallet.

December 3, 2021 at 1:59 PM

So Disney believes it has a captive audience and can charge them whatever exorbitant prices they choose, and can diminish the level of service as they please?

That sort of thinking always ends well.

December 3, 2021 at 5:09 PM

More like Disney "knows" they have a captive audience.

December 4, 2021 at 1:17 AM

Maybe this is a naive question, but shouldn't the Chairman of the Board be someone with a lot of experience with media/entertainment/theme parks? Instead, they chose someone from Procter and Gamble.

December 4, 2021 at 12:53 PM

I agree the move to someone with experience at P&G experience seems odd given Disney's move away from retail... Obviously there's still a lot of use for skills related to consumer products within disney, but is it a priority at that high of a level?

December 5, 2021 at 9:31 AM

Quite interesting news. I wonder how this can affect communication as I recently had the opportunity to view the interpersonal communication essay at and was amazed at how changing the head of an organization can change the level of communication between countries and related institutions. I wonder what will come of it.

December 5, 2021 at 5:51 PM

She is not in charge of the day to day operations. She doesn't have veto power over the development of new projects. She only has one vote on the board.

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