Who is Disney's new CEO Bob Chapek? All you need to know about the man who took over Magic Kingdom
The ex-chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products has been working with Disney for nearly three decades and he knows how to push the brand even further worldwide
With the surprising news that Bob Iger is stepping down as CEO of Disney, handing over the reins to Bob Chapek, it's worth taking a closer look at who Bob Chapek is. The chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products since 2018, Chapek has been working at Disney for nearly three decades. He will continue to report to Bob Iger in the latter's role as Executive Chairman, until Iger's Disney contract expires on December 31, 2021. Chapek will be the 7th Disney CEO in the company's history.
According to his official profile, having received his degree in microbiology from Indiana University Bloomington and his MBA from Michigan State University, Chapek initially worked in brand management at HJ Heinz Company and in advertising at J Walter Thompson. He joined Disney in 1993, working in the home entertainment unit. Chapek was the man responsible for the controversial "Disney Vault" initiative, where Disney's best films would be available to purchase for a limited time only.
He has risen steadily through the ranks of Disney. He was promoted to president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios in 2009, then president of Disney Consumer Products in 2011. In 2015, he became the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and then in 2018 the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Now, in 2020, he is Disney's new CEO.
He has expanded Disney's parks business in a big way, including the opening of a Disneyland theme park in Shanghai and nearly doubling the Disney cruise fleet. He has also been responsible for the merchandising branch of the Disney corporation, which most recently saw the selling out of an animatronic Baby Yoda, despite the fact that it won't be released until much, much later in the year.
He also introduced the immersive 'Star Wars' experience to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort — the much-touted 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' which allows 'Star Wars' fans to experience the franchise in an entirely new and exciting way.
Chapek is someone who is intimately familiar with the Disney brand and how to market it worldwide to fans. In this era where merchandising is one of the biggest businesses on the planet, Chapek is uniquely suited to push the Disney corporation further than ever before, as he has already been doing for years.
"I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world, and to lead our exceptionally talented and dedicated cast members and employees," Chapek said in a statement. "Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team."