Disney CEO Bob Chapek gets a long-term contract extension
Image via AP.

'Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company.'

Disney CEO Bob Chapek will remain at the helm, as the company’s board of directors extended his contract for three more years.

The board’s vote during a meeting in Florida ends speculation about Chapek’s future and whether he was at risk for losing his job following several high-profile controversies.

Chapek, 63, took over the company as CEO from Bob Iger in February 2020 in the weeks before what was going to be a historic crisis for the entertainment and tourism industry.

“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,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board, in a company press release.

“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.”

Chapek thanked the board for allowing him to continue to lead. His current contract was set to expire in February.

“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.”

Chapek’s compensation package for the company’s fiscal 2021 reached about $32.5 million, several media outlets reported in January.

Under Chapek’s leadership, the theme parks rebounded since the pandemic shutdowns and are money makers once again. Disney+ has launched several massive hits, especially in the “Star Wars” universe.

But Chapek has also faced criticism for initially staying silent against the a controversial Florida measure dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law by critics.

His eventual response landed him in the crossfires of Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican state lawmakers. Disney also became involved in a legal fight with Scarlett Johansson over her salary for “Black Widow” after the 2021 film was released in theaters and Disney+ simultaneously. The actress sued Disney for breach of contract and the two sides quickly settled. Disney’s stock has also fallen this year.

Chapek is the 7th CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history and previously led the company’s parks division.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment


    June 29, 2022 at 1:18 am

    I guess the board needs Chapek to figure out how they’re going to dismantle Reedy Creek? He probably (right or wrong) is the most senior executive with the knowledge of Reedy Creek and all the “residents” that live in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista by way of running the parks when he was appointed to that role in 2015.

    My hunch is that his contract would not have been extended if he previously did not run the parks – and you still had the Reedy Creek situation. If anything, this gets him to age 66 – and he can retire. For all the cost cutting that took place at WDW during his tenure running the parks – you would think the share price would be much higher.

    Even though the “Don’t Say Gay” fiasco is on Chapek’s watch – I don’t believe he’s the one who came up with the idea that Disney should support it – but you have the very vocal gay crowd in Burbank – and probably the remnants of the FOX studios crowd made so much noise – he was compelled to say something.

    I wonder how many of the alphabet letter crowd from Disney are moving to Lake Nona?

    Probably getting rid of Peter Rice at Disney Entertainment is one of Chapek’s better moves. Maybe that will tame down all the alphabet letter characters in new releases.

    Didn’t Disney say that 50% of all characters have to be from the alphabet letter people?

    Then, Disney decides not to allow the Brightline station at Disney Springs? This after eliminating the bus transportation to the Disney resort hotels from MCO. So, Disney expects their gusts to “hop” on an Uber/Lyft for the short distance from where the station will be built – off Disney/Reedy Creek property? What a bunch of dolts!

    Drain Reedy Creek Day – Monday June 1, 2023


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