The news that Disney boss Bob Iger is stepping down as the company’s CEO has taken the movie world by surprise.
Since becoming chief executive in 2005, Iger led the company through several blockbuster investment and the launch of the Disney+ flow service.
Iger will remain Disney’s executive chairman until the end of 2021.
In a statement, the company said Iger would direct its “creative attempt” while securing “a smooth and successful transition”.
Bob Chapek, who joined Disney in 1993 and earlier ran the company’s parks and products division, has been appointed the company’s new CEO.
During Iger’s tenure as CEO, Disney took over animation studio Pixar, comic book company Marvel, Star Wars originator LucasFilm and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
These acquisitions, combined with the launch of Disney+, amusement park openings and other factors, saw the company’s market value increase five-fold
Of the 20 highest-grossing films of the 2010s, 13 were Disney releases. Three of these titles made more than $2 billion (£1.54 billion) worldwide.
The most lucrative of the three, superhero blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, overtook 2009’s Avatar in July 2019 to become the highest-grossing film of all time.
Last year Iger published a memoir, titled The Ride of a Lifetime, in which he wrote about the lessons he had learned from his 15 years as Disney CEO.
While promoting his book he gave his only UK interview to BBC media editor Amol Rajan, during which he reflected on his experiences and accomplishments.
“It would be nice to know that it’s going to turn out as well as it has, because I probably would have been just a little bit more relaxed,” he mused when asked what advice he would offer his younger self.
“But then again if I had been a little bit more relaxed, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard and it might not have turned out. So because you can’t go back and do it over in anyway, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The 69-year-old also expressed pride about the number of jobs he said had been created at the Disney company during his time as CEO.
“I’m proud of our efforts for our employees – for cast members as we call them – around the world. Of which there are now about 230,000,” he said.
“There are tens of thousands more of them today, by the way, than they were when I got the job. So we’ve created a huge number of jobs. And for hourly workers.
“I am proud of their compensation. I’m proud of the benefits that we’ve bestowed upon them. I’m proud of the opportunities we’ve created for them.
“There’s been huge upward mobility in our company by the very people that start at the bottom – I’m one of them – and enable themselves to not only work their way up, but to work their way up and to earn more.”
In other departments, however, Iger did concede mistakes had been made