Bob Chapek will serve at least another three years as the Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Disney announced today.
Chapek's contract as Disney CEO reportedly was up early next year, but Disney's Board of Directors has voted unanimously to extend that contract for another 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, Disney Chairman Susan Arnold said in a statement release by the company. "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."
Before replacing Bob Iger as Disney's CEO, Chapek headed Disney's theme park division from 2015 to 2020 - just in time for the pandemic to close the company's theme parks and shut down production on its countless film and television sets. Yet Disney benefitted from Iger's pivot to streaming services just as demand for in-home entertainment surged, buying the company time to adjust to lockdowns without having to amass the debt that others in the theme park industry took on to survive.
Now, as parks have reopened, fans have complained about upcharges, reservation requirements, and a slow return of many attractions and enhancements. But park revenue is soaring and profits are near all-time highs, making Chapek and his management team popular among many investors.
Chapek recently sacked Disney television executive Peter Rice, who had been tapped by some as a potential replacement as Disney CEO. Some theme park fans have shipped current Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro for the CEO gig, too. But with Disney making money the way it is today, there was little doubt that the board would extend Chapek - only when it would do so, and for how long.
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