Bob Chapek

Source: Disney

Bob Chapek

The Walt Disney Company has extended chief executive officer Bob Chapek’s contract for three years, giving a vote of confidence to the under-pressure Disney boss. 

Chapek’s contract had been up for renewal next February, but his new contract runs to mid-2025. 

A 30-year Disney veteran, Chapek took over from Bob Iger as company CEO in February 2020. Over the past year Chapek has had to deal with a contract dispute involving Scarlett Johansson and faced criticism over his handling of Disney’s response to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill introduced in Florida, where the company is a major employer. 

Chapek has also had to deal with new doubts about whether streaming service Disney+ will reach its initial subscriber targets and with concerns about the performance of Disney stock. 

Earlier this month, Chapek faced more criticism over the ouster of Walt Disney Television chief Peter Rice, who was seen as a possible future CEO for the entertainment giant. 

In a statement about the contract renewal vote by Disney’s board of directors, board chairman Susan Arnold said: “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. 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 added: “Leading this great company is the honour of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the board for their support. 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.”