Big news coming out of the Mouse House today! According to CNBC, Disney‘s CEO Bob Iger has stepped down from the position effective immediately. While it’s a shock announcement to most of us, it seems Disney had been planning the change as Iger has already been replaced by Bob Chapek. Iger’s not completely out of the company yet, as he will remain an executive chairman until the end of 2021.

Chapek isn’t new to Disney, fortunately. He has been a chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products. According to the report, he will “continue to report to Iger and be appointed to the board of directors at a later date.” This structure was set up in order to make sure the transition from one CEO to another was smooth sailing. Chapek is looking forward to continuing Iger’s legacy, especially the direct-to-consumer initiatives but he’ll be looking at everything with a fresh perspective.

Meanwhile Iger, in the role of CEO since 2005, surprised everyone with his sudden departure. If Iger was planning on retiring at the end of 2021, why did he decide to step down now? During a conference call with investors, Iger said now seemed like the right time. “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 the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Iger said in a statement. Apparently he wanted to focus on the more creative side of things before his retirement.

There’s no denying that Iger made Disney one of, if not the most successful company in the world. It may be a big loss for the company but we’ll have to see what the future brings! Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more Disney news.

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Erin Lynch