In a unanimous vote, The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors have handed Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek a new three year contract. That’s a strong vote of confidence for the embattled leader of the Mouse House.
Bob Chapek took over from Bob Iger, the previous CEO, just ahead of the global pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 is still being felt across the companies divisions and the board has previously stated how happy they are with his handling of a difficult situation.
“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses—from parks to streaming—not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board, in a statement.
The new contract starts in June and runs into 2025. This will give Chapek a chance to show what he can do when not facing massive upheaval.
“In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is key to achieving that goal,” Arnold added.
Fans of Disney’s theme parks have been pushing back against what they see as unhelpful policies put in place by Bob Chapek. They blame Bob for everything from rising ticket prices, reduced entertainment offerings, and the disruption caused by requiring park pass reservations (even for annual passholders), and more.
Hollywood insiders also questioned Chapek’s recent reshuffling of executives which was seen as moving any competitors for his position off out of the company.
Chapek has also received pushback from company employees regarding the decision to move the Disney Parks division to Orlando from Glendale, including almost all of Walt Disney Imagineering. A decision which is now been pushed back years, despite many employees having already uprooted their lives.
As CEO, Bob Chapek has also been criticized for his poor handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Not only did his lack of response anger employees, when Chapek did issue a statement, it was pounced upon by Republican politicians. Florida Governor led the charge to strip Walt Disney World of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
“Leading this great company is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to the Board for their support,” said Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.
“I started at Disney almost 30 years ago, and today have the privilege of leading one of the world’s greatest, most dynamic companies, bringing joy to millions around the world,” Chapek continued. “I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible storytellers, employees, and cast members who make magic every day.”
How much Chapek will earn depends on how well the company does. His base salary of $2.5 million will remain unchanged, but his stock-based incentives have been increased from $15 to $20 million.
“Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team,” said Arnold in a statement.
How do you feel about the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company voting to give Bob Chapek another three years at the helm?