Walt Disney extends CEO Chapek’s contract 3 more years

Walt Disney’s board of directors voted unanimously to give chief executive Bob Chapek three more years at the helm of the company, citing strong leadership during the pandemic.

Despite a spate of recent controversy, including a fight over Florida’s parental rights in education and the recent firing of respected, veteran television executive Peter Rice, Chapek, 63, still has the board’s overwhelming support, according to a statement Tuesday.

Disney’s board cited Chapek’s leadership of the company during the health crisis, business results and a successful transformation strategy as reasons for extending his contract for a further three years.

“Disney has been hit hard by the pandemic, but with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged from it in a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, CEO in the statement . “During 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.”

Chapek’s leadership has come under scrutiny after a series of missteps, including a legal battle with star Scarlett Johansson and, more recently, a public row with Florida Gov. De Santis that led him to target laws that could limit Disney’s business in the state favor. Disney’s shares have underperformed the S&P 500 as analysts have grown skeptical that its streaming service can meet Chapek’s target of 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024.

Nonetheless, Disney’s streaming service has thrived despite intense competition, growing to 138 million subscribers in less than three years, along with strong attendance at its parks and movies.

“Leading this great company is the honor of my life 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 I have the privilege of leading one of the largest and most dynamic companies in the world and bringing joy to millions of people around the world. I’m thrilled to work with the incredible storytellers, staff and cast who create magic every day.”

The 30-year Disney veteran and former Disney Parks chairman became the 7th CEO in Disney history just before the pandemic shut down its parks and production for television and films worldwide.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-06-28/walt-disney-extends-ceo-chapeks-contract-3-more-years Walt Disney extends CEO Chapek’s contract 3 more years

Sarah Ridley

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