Bob Iger out as Disney CEO

The Walt Disney Company has announced CEO Bob Iger is stepping down from his role but remaining with the company.

Iger, 69, will move into the role of executive chairman and continue to oversee creative efforts through the end of his current contract that expires at the end of 2021.

Bob Chapek, the current chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products will move into the role of CEO.

“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of (21st Century Fox) well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Iger said in statement.

Iger started at ABC in 1974 and worked his way to head of ABC entertainment in 1989. A series of other promotions within ABC, which was not yet owned by Disney, followed.

After Disney’s 1999 purchase of Capital Cities/ABC, Iger moved over to work as the head of international efforts for Disney and also becoming chairman of ABC.

He became COO of Disney in 2000 and was eventually named CEO in 2005 after Disney heir Roy Disney maneuvered a management shakeup.

Insiders tell CNN that the move was a surprise — though Iger’s transition out was likely coming given his age, it wasn’t expected to happen so soon.

Disney acquire most assets of 21st Century Fox in the spring of 2019 and began rebranding some of those properties to remove the “Fox” name earlier this year.

However, integration work between the companies is still in early stages in many respects.

Disney also launched its Disney+ streaming service in late 2019.