San Francisco (AFP)
Disney CEO Bob Iger, who turned the Enchanted Kingdom into an entertainment empire, will give way at the end of next year to Bob Chapek, who runs amusement parks and related products, the group announced on Tuesday in an unexpected release.
"Robert A. Iger takes on the role of executive president. He will lead the company's artistic initiatives, chair the board of directors and use all his experience (...) to ensure a smooth and successful transition," said Disney.
The emblematic boss is preparing to leave after the successful launch of the Disney + streaming platform, which represents a breakthrough for the group in direct offer to consumers as opposed to distribution via intermediaries such as cinemas and television channels.
Last year was also marked by the acquisition of most of the assets of the former 21st Century Fox group, including the studio.
"Our group has become more complex in recent months. But all the elements are in place, the strategy is deployed and I would like to spend as much time as possible on the creative part of the work, which becomes the highest priority," explained Tuesday Bob Iger on a conference call.
He assured analysts that this change of direction had not been hasty, and that handing over to Bob Chapek allowed him "to free up the time necessary to focus on creation".
During the presentation of the group's annual results, Bob Iger welcomed the most recent successes, such as Disney + (28.6 million subscribers in less than 3 months) and the latest blockbusters "Frozen II" and "Star Wars : The Rise Of Skywalker ", each of which has exceeded $ 1 billion in revenue.
Employed by Disney since 1993, Bob Chapek has notably worked in the company through marketing, advertising, consumer products and amusement parks. He led the "Parks, experiences and products" activity since 2018, which includes 170,000 employees worldwide.
The group's share lost 2.6% in electronic trading after the close of the stock market.
© 2020 AFP