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Arnold will begin her new role Dec. 31, after Iger leaves Disney at the end of the year.
“Susan is an incredibly esteemed executive whose wealth of experience, unwavering integrity, and expert judgment have been invaluable to the Company since she first joined the Board in 2007,” Iger said Wednesday in a statement. “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. It has been a distinct honor to work with Susan and our many other talented directors, and I am incredibly grateful for the support and wise counsel they have provided during my tenure.”
Since 2018, Arnold has been the independent lead director of Disney. Outside of TWDC, Arnold has held executive positions at The Carlyle Group, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s and NBTY Inc. (formerly known as Nature’s Bounty).
In a separate statement, Arnold expressed her “deepest gratitude” to Iger, who stepped down as CEO in February 2020 and assumed the executive chairman role through the end of his contract, which ends Dec. 31.
“Bob has led Disney to amazing heights both creatively and financially, with his clear strategic vision for delivering high-quality branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology and expanding internationally, and he’s left an indelible mark on The Walt Disney Company that will be felt for generations to come,” Arnold said. “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.”
Arnold’s appointment marks the end of a decades-long career at Disney for Iger, who first held an executive position at Disney in 1996 and was promoted to CEO in 2005. The new chairman will work with Chapek as Disney focuses its resources on its streaming offering, where growth of Disney+ has slowed in recent months.
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