Walt Disney has elected a woman as its chairman for the first time in the entertainment giant’s history.
Susan Arnold, who has been a Disney board member for 14 years, will succeed Bob Iger at the end of this year. Arnold was formerly an executive at equity investment firm the Carlyle Group and was previously a director for some of the US’ biggest brands including McDonald’s Corp.
“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 said.
Mr Iger has served as chairman of the board since 2012, and as Disney’s Executive Chairman since 2020, directing the Company’s creative endeavours. He led Disney as chief executive officer for fifteen years.
“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,” said outgoing Chairman Mr Iger.
“I am confident the Company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership,” he added.
Under Iger’s leadership Disney made a number of major acquisitions, including the takeovers of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. In 2016, the firm opened its first theme park and resort in mainland China.
Yesterday share price closed down 1.9 per cent.