Amid a flurry of rumors that Disney current chairman and chairman Bob Iger has finally found a successor to him when he relinquishes office in July 2019, sources familiar with the company are of the say that it would be Bob Chapek, currently chairman of the company’s Parks & Resorts division who will succeed him.
The rumors of Chapek’s appointment come on the heels of Disney’s fiscal year-end earnings in which only Chapek’s Parks & Resorts division posted gains in both sales and operating income.
While no formal announcement, Disney is pressed for time. It may be noted that some years ago, Iger had revealed his plans to step down in 2016. However, in 2014, his tenure was extended by another two years till June 2018.
Last March, he extended his contract again to July 2, 2019 and said just last month, “This time I mean it.” The Disney board has been seeking his successor for two years.
“Leading this great company is a tremendous privilege, and I am honored to have been asked to continue serving as CEO through July 2, 2019,” says Iger. “Even with the incredible success the company has achieved, I am confident that Disney’s best days are still ahead, and I look forward to continuing to build on our proven strategy for growth while working with the board to identify a successor as CEO and ensure a successful transition.”
Earlier, Disney had two candidates in line for Iger’s role in former executives Tom Staggs and Jay Rasulo. Staggs, who was promoted to the position of chief operating officer in 2015, left after a year while Rasulo, the company’s former chief financial officer and parks division head, also left the company after being passed over for Staggs’ former position.
After Staggs’ departure, there has been no clear front runner for the job until now.
Chapek has led the Parks & Resorts division since 2015. Before that, the 24-year Disney veteran served as president of Disney Consumer Products from 2001 to 2015 and drove a technology-led transformation of the company’s consumer products, retail and publishing operations.
Prior to Disney Consumer Products, he served as president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios from 2009 to 2011. He also served as president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the company’s iconic films and transformed the primary of format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.