Bob Chapek is an American media executive who served as The Walt Disney Company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) between 2020 and 2022. He worked for The Walt Disney Company for 26 years before becoming CEO.
He started in the Home Entertainment division and worked his way up to Chairman of Parks & Resorts and then CEO. The executive board of Disney said Chapek would be fired as CEO on November 20, 2022. Bob Iger, who had been in charge before Chapek, took over.
Early Years and Education
Robert Alan Chapek was born in 1960 in the Chicago suburbs to Marie (Lofay) and Bernard W. Chapek, who both worked. He was raised in Hammond, IN. His father served in World War II. His family went to Walt Disney World once a year.
In 1977, Chapek got his diploma from George Rogers Clark Jr./Sr. High School. He got his Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Indiana University Bloomington and his Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Before joining The Walt Disney Company in 1993, he managed brands for the H.J. Heinz Company and worked in advertising for J. Walter Thompson.
What is Bob Chapek's Net Worth?
As of November 2022, Bob Chapek Has an Estimated Net Worth of $7.67 Million (Source: Wallmine). Robert Chapek owns a total of about 3,556 shares of Walt Disney Co.'s ordinary stock. Over the past two years, Robert Chapek's sales at Walt Disney Co. have been worth $6.66M.
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How Bob Chapek Started Working For The Walt Disney Company?
Chapek started working for Disney in 1993 as the marketing director for the company's Buena Vista Home Entertainment division. At that time, VHS tapes were still a big part of the business. The CEO Michael Eisner said this about Chapek: “He was always a business leader whose star was on the rise…
He knew how to grow the business while keeping up with the fast-paced changes in the market.” Chapek is credited with bringing Disney's home entertainment division into the digital age by focusing on releasing properties on DVD and, later, Blu-Ray discs.
In 2006, he was given a promotion and became the president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. In 2009, he became Walt Disney Studios' president of distribution. Since Chapek started at the Walt Disney Company's home video division and worked his way up to the top, he has been called “the home entertainment industry's biggest success story.”
How Bob Chapek Became President of Consumer Products?
In September 2011, Chapek was given the job of president of Disney Consumer Products. After Disney bought Lucasfilm, Chapek added Star Wars merchandise to Disney's licensing program.
This made Disney the largest intellectual property licenser in the world. Chapek worked out a deal with Hasbro in 2013 in which the toy company paid Disney $80 million in royalties to keep making Marvel toys and agreed to pay Disney up to $225 million for the rights to make new Star Wars products.
Chapek started the Disney Imagicademy in 2014. It is a set of apps for tablets and smartphones that are meant to help kids learn through fun games. This was Disney's first big step into the market for learning apps. Chapek said that he started this project because many parents had told his department that it was hard for them to find good learning apps among the thousands that were available online.
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Chairmanship of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Chapek was named chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on February 23, 2015, and his new job started that day. He took over for Thomas O. Staggs, who had been moved up to chief operating officer earlier in the month. Chapek started working right away to finish and open Shanghai Disneyland in 2016.
In its first year, the park had more than 11 million guests. He also made sure that Disney's Animal Kingdom's Pandora – The World of Avatar was finished and opened in 2017. Chapek also oversaw the building and opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Disney said of Galaxy's Edge, “It's the most immersive land we've ever built.” They said this because it has themed restaurants, shops, and roaming characters that people can interact with. CNN said, “Disney didn't skimp on anything” after hearing that Disney spent $1 billion on the 14-acre land in Disneyland in Anaheim.
The Walt Disney Company's Chief Executive Officer Tenureship
Chapek was named CEO of The Walt Disney Company in February 2020. He took over for Bob Iger, who would stay on as executive chairman until the end of 2021. Many Disney employees were surprised by this because they thought Tom Staggs would take over from Iger.
Chapek was chosen to be on the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company in April 2020. Later that month, it came out that Chapek was still CEO, but Iger had taken back operational control of the company for the time being because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, Chapek has said in a number of interviews with financial news outlets that he is focusing on opening Disney's theme parks. According to government rules, only about 24,000 people were allowed to visit Shanghai Disneyland each day when it opened in May 2020.
Chapek said that this was just a “Baby Step,” but he was encouraged by how many people showed up since the limited number of tickets was selling out. Chapek promised to increase capacity in the coming weeks, but in a careful way.
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Bob Chapek's Departure From Disney
Chapek signed a new three-year contract in June 2022 to stay on as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. On November 20, 2022, Bob Iger was put back in charge as CEO. Insiders at Disney told CNBC that Iger was asked to come back as CEO on the previous Friday, but Chapek didn't find out he was fired until Sunday night.
The chair of the board, Susan Arnold, pointed to Disney's bad earnings report from the beginning of the month as evidence that Iger was “uniquely positioned” to lead the company.
The New York Times also said that Chapek seemed “Happy-Go-Lucky” during the conference call that followed the earnings report. The Times also said that Chapek “Implausibly” emphasized the success of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which is not a big event for the parks or the company as a whole.
Jim Cramer, who hosts the show Mad Money, said that day that Chapek should be fired. He was especially critical of Disney's “Balance Sheet From Hell.”
Let's Take a Closer Look into Bob Chapek's Personal Life
Chapek has been married to Cynthia, whom he met in high school, since 1980. They have three children and four grandchildren together.
At some point in their lives, all three of the Chapek kids worked for Disney. Before going to work for Apple, daughter Kimberly Chapek Maddux was a senior secretary at Walt Disney Studios National Motion Pictures Publicity for three years.
Brian Chapek works in the development department of Disney's Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney. Kelly Chapek's job at Warner Brothers is in talent acquisition, but when she was younger, she worked at the Disney store in Camarillo because she was related to someone who worked there.