BAY LAKE, Fla. – The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors unanimously voted on Tuesday to extend CEO Bob Chapek’s contract by three years.
Chapek’s career at Disney has spanned over nearly 30 years and he was named the company’s seventh CEO just weeks before the theme parks were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support,” Chapek said in a news release. “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.”
He previously served as Chairman of both Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Disney Parks and Resorts, president of both Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and leader of Disney Consumer Products before being appointed CEO before the pandemic hit.
“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, chairman of the Board, 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 Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team.”
Chapek also guided Disney as the company waded through muddied political waters this past year, coming under fire from both sides of the aisle after he denounced Gov. DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education bill—dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics. His apology and subsequent pause of political donations came weeks after protests erupted around Florida and California calling for the company to take a stand.
His response triggered DeSantis to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a private government controlled by Disney.