Chief executive officer and chairman of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse look on before ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), November 27, 2017 in New York City.
Bob Iger is stepping down as CEO.
The media mogul, who has been at the helm of Disney since 2005 and extended his contract with the company twice during his tenure, said Tuesday that he is leaving his post ahead of his contract expiring in 2021.
Disney announced that Bob Chapek, the company’s head of parks, experiences and products, would be his successor. Iger will assume the role of executive chairman through Dec. 31, 2021.
“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Iger said in a statement Tuesday. “I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney’s multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company’s creative endeavors.”
In the last 15 years, Iger has facilitated one of the most remarkable revitalizations of any iconic American brand. He built up the company through a series of four acquisitions that seeded its parks, consumer products and theaterical releases.
In the year that Iger was named CEO, Disney’s net income was $2.5 billion. By last year, net profits jumped more than 300% to $10.4 billion. Similarly, Disney stock has skyrocketed. Shares of Disney are up more than 400% from $25 per share in 2005 to nearly $128 at the close on Tuesday.
Within his first year as CEO, Iger announced that Disney would acquire Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion. Since Pixar’s first film “Toy Story” debuted in 1995, it has earned more than $14 billion at the global box office. Around $11 billion of that has come after Disney’s acquisition.
In 2009, Iger closed on a deal to purchase Marvel for around $4 billion. Since releasing its first Disney-produced Marvel movie in 2012, the company has earned more than $18.2 billion at the global box office.
Then, there was the $4.05 billion Lucasfilm acquisition in October 2012. Since Disney released its first Star Wars movie in 2015, the franchise has made more than $5.9 billion at the global box office.
Then last March, Disney closed on its biggest acquisition yet: a $71 billion deal for 20th Century Fox.
Franchises and movies from those four acquisitions helped Disney gross more than $10 billion at the global box office in 2019, representing nearly 40% of the total U.S. box office haul for the year.
Iger has also pushed for the launch of Disney+, a streaming service filled with original movies and television shows as well as Disney’s slate of classic animated and live-action content. The service already has more than 28 million subscribers as of February, the company said.
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