The Walt Disney Company Has Officially Chosen Bob Iger's Replacement As Chairman

Bob Iger as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live
(Image credit: ABC)

Over the past 25 years, businessman Bob Iger has played an instrumental role in the Walt Disney Company, and has helped shape the House of Mouse for the 21st century. Between spearheading negotiations with Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm to creating the MCU and forwarding the Star Wars universe, as well as being part of the Fox merger and the creation of Disney+, Iger has left a large mark on the company. As the end of the year soon approaches, he will officially be stepping down from his role as chairman of the board. 

Bob Iger previously left his position as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in early 2020, which has since been relegated to Bob Chapek. Iger has remained on the board, but since the shift was made, it was laid out that Iger was planning on leaving on December 31, 2021. As that date approaches, a new chairman of the board has been chosen in Susan Arnold, who will take his place, per Business Wire

Iger has been The Walt Disney Company’s chairman of the board since 2012 and held a senior operating role since 1996. In a statement, Bob Iger said this about Susan Arnold taking on his role: 

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.

Susan Arnold has been on the Walt Disney Company board for the past 14 years alongside Bob Iger, and has been the independent lead director since 2018. Prior to that, she was an operating executive at the investment firm The Carlyle Group until this year, was the president of the global business units of Procter & Gamble from 2007 to 2009, and member of the board at the McDonald’s Corporation from 2008 to 2016. Arnold’s own statement included these words: 

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.

The Walt Disney Company chairman of the board is a person who presides over meetings and conducts the group’s business. Susan Arnold will work directly with CEO Bob Chapek, who will report to the board of directors and help carry out Disney’s plans. 

Susan Arnold will be the tenth chairman of the board and first woman to assume the position. Walt Disney was the first chairman of the board from 1945 to 1960, and his brother Roy O. Disney assumed the position from 1964 to 1971 before people outside their family began to assume these roles. It’s fair to say that Disney will not be the same without Bob Iger, but we’ll see how Arnold does starting at the top of 2022. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.