The Walt Disney Company has announced that Susan Arnold will succeed Bob Iger as chairman of the board at Disney. Iger, who has served as chairman of the board since 2012, will leave the job on December 31st (through The Wrap). It will stamp the first time since 1996 that Disney has not had Iger in a senior operating job for the company. In a statement, Iger described Arnold as an “incredible esteemed leader” and said that she was the ideal decision for the job. “Susan is an incredibly esteemed leader whose abundance of experience, unwavering integrity, and master judgment have been invaluable to the company since she first joined the board in 2007,” Iger’s statement read. “Having most recently served as independent lead chief, Susan is the ideal decision for chairman of the board, and I am confident the company is all around positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership. It has been a distinct honor to work with Susan and our many other talented directors, and I am incredibly thankful for the support and wise counsel they have given during my tenure.”
Arnold previously worked in senior roles at Procter and Gamble, serving as president of its worldwide business units from 2007 to 2009. She was also a head of McDonald’s Corp from 2008 to 2016, chief NBTY, Inc. from 2013 to 2017, and most recently an operating leader for the value investment firm The Carlyle Group. Arnold has been an individual from Disney’s board for a long time. “For the benefit of the board, I might want to express my deepest appreciation to Bob Iger for his extraordinary leadership over the past decade-and-a-half,” Arnold said in a statement.
“Weave has driven Disney to amazing heights both imaginatively and financially, with his unmistakable strategic vision for delivering excellent branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology, and expanding internationally, and he’s made an indelible imprint on The Walt Disney Company that will be felt for generations to come. As I step into this new job as chairman of the board, I anticipate 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 tradition of inventive excellence and innovation.”
It’s important to note that while Arnold set to become chairman of the board, Disney’s new leader structure will keep that job separate from that of CEO. Sway Chapek was named Disney’s CEO in February of last year and he will remain in that role.