Disney Reveals Susan Arnold to Succeed Bob Iger as Disney Chairman

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The Walt Disney Company has announced that Susan Arnold will succeed Bob Iger as chairman of the board at Disney. Iger, who has served as chairman of the board since 2012, will depart the role on December 31st (via The Wrap). It will mark the first time since 1996 that Disney has not had Iger in a senior operating role for the company. In a statement, Iger described Arnold as an “incredible esteemed executive” and said that she was the perfect choice for the role.

“Susan is an incredibly esteemed executive whose wealth of experience, unwavering integrity, and expert judgment have been invaluable to the company since she first joined the board in 2007,” Iger’s statement read. “Having most recently served as independent lead director, Susan is the perfect choice for chairman of the board, and I am confident the company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership. It has been a distinct honor to work with Susan and our many other talented directors, and I am incredibly grateful for the support and wise counsel they have provided during my tenure.”

Arnold previously worked in senior roles at Procter & Gamble, serving as president of its global business units from 2007 to 2009. She was also a director of McDonald’s Corp from 2008 to 2016, director NBTY, Inc. from 2013 to 2017, and most recently an operating executive for the equity investment firm The Carlyle Group. Arnold has been a member of Disney’s board for 14 years.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Bob Iger for his extraordinary leadership over the past decade-and-a-half,” Arnold said in a statement. “Bob has led Disney to amazing heights both creatively and financially, with his clear strategic vision for delivering high-quality branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology, and expanding internationally, and he’s left an indelible mark on The Walt Disney Company that will be felt for generations to come. As I step into this new role as chairman of the board, I look forward to continuing to serve the long-term interests of Disney’s shareholders and working closely with CEO Bob Chapek as he builds upon the company’s century-long legacy of creative excellence and innovation.”

It’s important to note that while Arnold set to become chairman of the board, Disney’s new executive structure will keep that role separate from that of CEO. Bob Chapek was named Disney’s CEO in February of last year and he will remain in that role.

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