Disney boss Bob Iger is stepping down as CEO.
The 69-year-old businessman — who stepped into the role back in 2005 and has been with the entertainment giant since 1996 — will take on the role of executive chairman as he leads the board until his contract's end on December 31, 2021, while his successor Bob Chapek will immediately take on the new role.
On a call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday (Feb 25), Iger said: "The company has gotten larger and more complex in the recent 12 months.
"With the asset base in place, and our strategy essentially deployed, I felt that I should spend as much time as possible with the creative side of our businesses ... because that becomes our biggest priority in 2021."
Iger — who was a driving force behind the new Disney+ streaming platform — added that by the time he moves on from the company, he wants Chapek to be fully immersed in the "creative" side of Disney.
He added: "My goal is that when I leave here [Chapek] will be just as steeped with all matters creative at the company as I am today...
"I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney's multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company's creative endeavors."
As CEO, Iger was instrumental in the acquisitions of Lucasfilm (US$4.06 billion), Marvel (US$4 billion), Pixar (US$7.4 billion), and most recently, 20th Century Fox (US$71.3 billion). He was also orchestrated the launch of the Disney+ streaming service in November.
During the same call, Chapek — who joined Disney in 1993 and served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products for the past two years — heaped praise on his predecessor and described his job change as an honour.
He said: "I am incredibly honoured and humbled to assume the role of CEO of what I truly believe is the greatest company in the world, and to lead our exceptionally talented and dedicated castmembers and employees.
"Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team."