Disney Gives CEO Chapek 3-Year Contract Extension

The Walt Disney Co. Tuesday announced a three-year extension of Bob Chapek’s contract as company CEO, with the entertainment giant’s board chair hailing the direction of the firm following the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Susan Arnold, chair of the Disney Board of Directors, said in a statement.

“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 Co., and the board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”

Chapek has led the company since February 2020, succeeding Bob Iger. His new contract will keep him as CEO until 2025.

“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the board for their support,” Chapek said in a statement. “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.”

In addition to the pandemic, Chapek has been faced with other high- profile challenges, including a storm of criticism he received from some employees over the company’s perceived lack of resistance to legislation restricting school instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida — home of the Disney World resort.

The uproar led to protests and walkouts by some employees. Chapek issued an apology over the company’s response to the legislation, and the company has condemned it — leading to political battles with Gov. Ron DeSantis, who threatened to have the state take over the special district that oversees the Disney World property.

Chapek also made headlines earlier this month with the sudden firing of chief content officer Peter Rice. Some industry trade publications reported that Rice may have been perceived as challenging Chapek for the CEO position.

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