Bob Iger has stepped down as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Iger has been replaced by Bob Chapek officially on Tuesday (February 25). The news came as a surprise to Disney fans. Iger will remain as executive chairman of the company through 2021.

The change comes just months after the launch of Disney+.

Chapek was previously the chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products for the company. Chapek will continue to report to Iger and join the board of directors sometime in the future.

"With the successful launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is an optimal time to transition to a new CEO," Iger said in a press release. "I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney's multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the company's creative endeavors."

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world, and to lead our exceptionally talented and dedicated cast members and employees,” Chapek added. “Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team. I share his commitment to creative excellence, technological innovation and international expansion, and I will continue to embrace these same strategic pillars going forward. Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking.”

Iger had a long history with the company, he joined ABC in 1974 before serving as the president of the ABC network in 1996. He transitioned to Disney's chief operating officer in 2000 and became CEO in 2005.

Chapek held his previous position with the company for two years, prior to that role, he was the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts from 2005-2018.

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