Bob Chapek to Continue Remaining Disney CEO Through 2025!!

The Chapek remains. This is the decision that Disney’s board of directors came to this week after meeting to decide the fate of current CEO Bob Chapek, whose contract with the mega-company was about to expire. According to The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors, the decision was “unanimous.” Chapek’s new contract puts him back at the helm of the Mickey Mouse company all the way through 2025.

Chapek has an excellent track record with Disney: Aside from being in the company for about three decades, he’s the one who took over the CEO duties immediately after board-favorite Bob Iger abruptly resigned in early 2020. To make things worse, the coronavirus pandemic hit barely a month after the switch, and Chapek has led the company through one of the world’s worst crises.

In an official statement, board member Susan Arnold praised Chapek’s leadership through the COVID-19 years and suggested that extending his contract was a no-brainer:

“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses—from parks to streaming—not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength. In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”

Also in an official statement, Chapek himself celebrated the decision and his legacy at the company:

“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support. I started at Disney almost 30 years ago, and today have the privilege of leading one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic companies, bringing joy to millions around the world. I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible storytellers, employees, and Cast Members who make magic every day.”

Chapek’s contract renewal comes at a somewhat delicate time for Disney. Earlier this year, the CEO himself was called out after Disney barely reacted to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which directly affected a significant portion of the company’s LGBTQIAP+ employees. At the occasion, the Pixar team decided to pen an open letter to Chapek in which they revealed several instances in which same-sex or queer storylines were watered down or censored by the company.

The letter had one immediate and positive reaction: The same-sex kiss originally featured in Disney’s blockbuster Lightyear was featured back into the movie – which in turn made the animated movie get banned in extremely conservative West Asia territories such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait, and others.

The question now is: Under Chapek’s leadership, is Disney willing to keep doing what it did to Lightyear and let go of a margin of its profits in order to stand by its LGBTQIAP+ employees? Chapek’s new run as CEO has the potential to completely change the way the company operates, and we hope that the “unanimous” vote of the board has factored in this issue – otherwise, we can expect more angry manifestations from despondent employees in the years to come.

 

via Collider

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