Disney CEO Bob Chapek Elected to the Company’s Board of Directors
A little over a month after taking over the helm for Bob Iger, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was officially elected to the firm’s Board of Directors today. However, Chapek will not be joining any additional board committees for now.
According to a piece in The Hollywood Reporter, Susan Arnold (Independent Lead Director and Bob Iger Executive Chairman) said in a joint statement, “Bob Chapek has demonstrated remarkable leadership in the face of unprecedented challenges that were unimaginable when he became CEO just seven weeks ago.”
Added Arnold and Iger, “We’ve watched him navigate this very complex situation with decisiveness and compassion. We are pleased to add Bob to the Board, as we stated we would when he was named CEO.”
Adding Chapek to the Board of Director’s was something the company had been planning since February 24, 2020 in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was noted in Chapek’s employment deal for “Mr. Chapek to be elected as a member of the Board at a time to be determined by the Board and to be nominated for re-election to the Board during his tenure as Chief Executive Officer.”
The timing of the Board announcement is interesting given that just days ago Bob Iger spoke to New York Times in an interview where, according to the columnist Ben Smith, it felt like the former CEO was reasserting control of the company amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Prior to stepping up into the CEO role after Iger’s abrupt announcement that he was retiring, Chapek served as chairman of the parks, experiences and products division and had been with the company since 1993.
Disney is facing a myriad of challenges with theme parks around the world shuttered, retails stores closed, advertising downturns for ABC and ESPN, halted production at the film studios and a suspension of all cruises and tour packages.
During his first month in the post, Chapek took a 50% paycut to his $2.5 million salary. Other executives have seen their salaries slashed 20-30% depending on their post and most of the theme parks employees and non-essential studio employees have been furloughed.
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