by Brandon Butler
Bob Chapek Named CEO of The Walt Disney Company 2/25/2020

Today’s surprising press release from Disney:

The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors announced today that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Robert A. Iger assumes the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.

Iger oversaw the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Fox, revitalized the struggling Walt Disney Animation Studios, opened two theme parks, and grew the company’s market cap from $50 billion to $250 billion in fifteen years while at Disney. His sudden vacating of the CEO position and the timing of the announcement is surprising.

Bob Chapek will be Disney’s 7th CEO. Chapek is known for tight budgets and reducing Imagineering costs. TechCrunch has more:

Chapek, as head of Disney’s Parks Division was a somewhat divisive figure in that he led with a ‘value engineering’ (the Imagineering word for trimming cool stuff) and budget concious strategy instead of the more popular ‘let Imagineers do the most’ tactic that has produced some of the Parks most enduring rides and experiences. Disney Twitter has been quick to descend upon the Chapek choice as a sign of possible rough times ahead for Parks budgets.

Chapek also was responsible for the “Disney Vault” which artificially increased the value of classic Disney films by selling them for a limited time and then removing them from the market.

Get your nickels and dimes ready, kids.