Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) has announced Bob Iger is to step down as chief executive following 15 years at the helm.
Iger will take the role of executive chairman and will direct the entertainment giant’s “creative endeavours” through to the end of his contract in December 2021.
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He is replaced as CEO by Bob Chapek, who has been at the company for 27 years, lately as chairman of the parks, experiences and products segment since its creation in 2018.
“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 chief executive,” said Iger.
Commentators were quick to praise Iger's contribution to the group.
"Iger has been a visionary true to the origins of Walt Disney himself," said Jasper Lawler, analyst at London Capital Group.
"Even in recent years, clever purchases of Star Wars and Marvel brands have sent Disney profits and shares to new heights."
Chapek’s appointment comes ahead of the international rollout of Disney+, the company’s response to Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Shares dipped 2% to US$125.39 in pre-market trading.