Disney Board Member Susan Arnold To Succeed Bob Iger As Chairman Upon His Exit From Company – Deadline


Disney is replacing Bob Iger, who will soon wrap up his decades-long tenure at the company, with Susan Arnold as chairman of the board. The move takes effect when Iger leaves for good on December 31.

Arnold has been a member of the board for 14 years. Iger, who passed the CEO baton to Bob Chapek in February 2020 and announced his plan to exit, had been board chair since 2012.

In addition to her role on the Disney board, Arnold has been an exec at investment firm The Carlyle Group as well as Procter & Gamble. She has been a board member at McDonald’s Corp. and NBTY.

“Susan is an incredibly esteemed executive whose wealth of experience, unwavering integrity, and expert judgment have been invaluable to the company since she first joined the board in 2007,” Iger said in a press release. “Having most recently served as independent lead director, Susan is the perfect choice for chairman of the board, and I am confident the company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership.”

Disney has evolved significantly under Iger and arguably even more during the Chapek era. While Iger redirected the company’s resources and strategic focus toward direct-to-consumer streaming, Chapek has created a centralized distribution organization, experimented with different release windows, including some day-and-date in theaters and streaming. Iger recounted in his 2019 memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, having to persuade the board about the merits of a number of moves, including the pivot to streaming and the $71 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Bob Iger for his extraordinary leadership over the past decade-and-a-half,” Arnold said. “Bob has led Disney to amazing heights both creatively and financially, with his clear strategic vision for delivering high-quality branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology, and expanding internationally, and he’s left an indelible mark on The Walt Disney company that will be felt for generations to come. As I step into this new role as chairman of the board, I look forward to continuing to serve the long-term interests of Disney’s shareholders and working closely with CEO Bob Chapek as he builds upon the company’s century-long legacy of creative excellence and innovation.”

Iger has been executive chairman for nearly two years. He was CEO from 2005 to 2020 and prior to that had senior roles at both Disney and ABC.

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