Julia Alexander at The Verge has a good profile of Disney’s new CEO, Bob Chapek:
To understand why Chapek is the obvious choice to replace Iger, as former Disney executives told The Verge, it requires a little history lesson. In 2009, Chapek was named president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, putting him in charge of distribution for Disney’s content theatrically, home entertainment, and other mediums like digital releases. During his time in the home entertainment division, Chapek was crucial in Disney’s distribution deals with digital platforms like Apple’s iTunes.
Iger was especially interested in those details because of the changing landscape of release windows (meaning when and where a movie can go after its theatrical release). The shift in technology made partnerships with companies like Apple and platforms like iTunes crucial to the company’s growth.
Those distribution deals were Disney’s early foray into the direct-to-consumer market — a sector Iger sees as the future. As then-chairman of Walt Disney Studios Rich Ross said in a 2009 press release, “Bob Chapek has been at the forefront of new technology for many years, and has the expertise and track record to guide and consolidate our future distribution efforts.”