The 69-year-old steered the company through successful purchases of Lucasfilms, Marvel, Pixar and other brands that became big money makers for Disney. Chapek added to his statement, saying that Iger has "built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company". Resigning so that he can assume the role of executive chairman over at Disney, Iger has chose to pass on his post as the Mickey Mouse House's CEO to Bob Chapek, the current chairman of Disney parks, experiences, and products.
Following the announcement, CNBC reports shares of Disney dropped 2.5%. Before those roles, he was head of Disney's consumer products, and before that, he was president of distribution for the Walt Disney Studios.
"It's a huge surprise", Laura Martin, stock market analyst for Needham & Co., told Bloomberg news. The timing in the midst of everything is just odd.
While it is one of Iger's lesser known deals, taking control of this technology company helped set the stage for the launch of Disney+.
Disney CEO Bob Iger was chosen because the businessman of the yr by TIME journal in 2019. Some insiders took solace in the fact that Iger said he would remain executive chairman of the company. He also said on the call that it was the right time to step down because he needs to spend more time on the creative side of the company.
"And I was going to say 'and this time I mean it, ' but I've said it before", he said.
He also played the leading role in the roll out of company's own streaming service Disney Plus, which has so far amassed over 28 million subscribers.
In a statement on the company's website, Iger said his transition out of the position was effective immediately.
Under Chapek's leadership, Walt Disney Parks saw an aggressive expansion into new projects. That had fuelled speculation that its streaming chief, Kevin Mayer, was in line for the CEO job.
He said he considered elevating Mr Chapek to an interim role - perhaps chief operating officer, a job that does not now exist at Disney. That is also expected to hurt Chinese tourism, which impacts Disney's US parks.
As chairman of Disney Parks, experiences and products, Chapek oversaw the company's largest business segment, with operations around the globe and more than 170,000 employees worldwide. He also oversaw Disney's global consumer products, which includes licensing across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps; a children's print publisher; Disney stores around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.
Iger has been at Disney for two decades and has served as CEO since 2005, where he led the company through a period of expansive growth, especially in its media divisions.