(NBC NEWS) – Bob Iger has stepped down as CEO of Disney, a move that sent immediate shockwaves through the media industry that he helped shape in recent years.
Iger’s move, announced Tuesday, is effective immediately. He’ll stay on as executive chairman through December 2021. Bob Chapek will take over as CEO. Chapek was previously in charges of the company’s division that oversaw theme parks and consumer products.
Iger was named president and COO of Disney in 2000 and became CEO in 2005. Iger was instrumental in guiding Disney into the streaming age and through its acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business. Under Iger, Disney went on an acquisition spree that has given it one of the deepest libraries of family-friendly content of any media company, including Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.
The company announced the move in a press release.
While the news came as a surprise Tuesday, Iger had been planning his succession for a while. Last year, at Disney’s investor conference he said “2021 will be the time for me to finally step down.”