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Walt Disney appoints Susan Arnold as Chairman

In its 98-year history, the entertainment giant has elected a woman to this position for the first time. Arnold will succeed Robert Iger as Chairman

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Dec 2, 2021 1:40 PM Updated- Dec 2, 2021 1:51 PM

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Walt Disney has elected Susan Arnold as its new Chairman. This is the first time that the entertainment giant has elected a woman to this position in its 98-year history. Arnold, who has served as its independent Lead Director since 2018, will succeed Robert A Iger as Chairman when he departs at the end of the year. She has been a Disney board member for 14 years. Prior to this, Arnold was an operating executive of the equity investment firm The Carlyle Group, where she served from 2013 to 2021. In an announcement made by Walt Disney Company Board of Directors, it was stated that the company has elected Arnold as Chairman of the Board, effective December 31, 2021. 

"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 in a statement. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Bob Iger for his extraordinary leadership over the past decade-and-a-half,” Arnold said. “Bob has led Disney to amazing heights both creatively and financially, with his clear strategic vision for delivering high-quality branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology, and expanding internationally, and he’s left an indelible mark on The Walt Disney Company that will be felt for generations to come", she added.

Arnold brings to her role extensive public-company board experience and in-depth knowledge of brand management and marketing, environmental sustainability, product and business development, international consumer markets, finance, and executive and risk management. Previously, she served as President—Global Business Units of Procter & Gamble from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that at Procter & Gamble, Arnold was Vice-Chair—Beauty & Health from 2006, Vice-Chair—Beauty from 2004, and President—Global Personal Beauty Care & Global Feminine Care from 2002. She was a Director of McDonald’s Corp. from 2008 to 2016, and a Director of NBTY, Inc. from 2013 to 2017.

According to reports, Iger will leave the company by the end of this month. He had stepped down as Disney's chief executive in 2020 after 15 years in the role. “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 Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board. “Having most recently served as independent Lead Director, Susan is the perfect choice for Chairman of the Board, and I am confident the Company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership. It has been a distinct honor to work with Susan and our many other talented directors, and I am incredibly grateful for the support and wise counsel they have provided during my tenure", Iger added. 

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