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Disney CEO Receives Multi-Year Extension Amid Turmoil

Disney, Bob Chapek, Marvel, Star Wars
By Richard Nebens

The Walt Disney Company has a bright future ahead of it, and the team has seen impressive success over the past couple of years, even having to deal with the effects of a global pandemic. At the head of everything from Disney Studios, Marvel, and Star Wars is company CEO Bob Chapek, although he hasn’t avoided some concerning controversy during his time as the studio’s top executive.

Chapek was notably one of the figureheads of a public legal battle with MCU star Scarlett Johansson, who sued Disney for lost revenue after her solo movie Black Widow was forced to release in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time. He has also garnered flak for his tiptoed response to the oft-discussed “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida after many Disney’s employees spoke out against the controversial legislation.

Even considering these events, Disney remains the top name in the entertainment business - the company still has nearly a dozen big-budget releases from Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm before the end of the year. Now, it appears that Disney has made a decision on its future from an executive standpoint as well, keeping Chapek as a part of the journey.

Disney CEO Remains in Head Position

Disney
Disney

The Hollywood Reporter shared that Walt Disney Company's board of directors unanimously decided to extend CEO Bob Chapek's contract to stay in the same position with the company.

Variety followed up on this report, noting that the extension is for the next three years, meaning that he will keep his job until at least 2025.

This decision comes amidst some serious turmoil during his tenure, which included Chapek remaining silent on the controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill passed in Florida earlier this year.

Chapek has also been in hot water for the handling of Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney spurred on by Black Widow's release on Disney+, in addition to his unexpected firing of former chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content Peter Rice. 

Chapek Stays With Disney for Three More Years

The controversy surrounding Chapek has been something of a stain on Disney's public image, especially after subsidiaries like Marvel Studios showed a willingness to speak out against controversy. Nevertheless, the company's success seemingly speaks for itself, and Chapek's work in that regard has put him in a good position to try to build his positive legacy with the House of Mouse.

Now, looking ahead to the rest of the year, Chapek is hopeful that the aforementioned Marvel and Star Wars propel Disney at the box office and in homes via streaming.

Marvel is currently enjoying plenty of success with Ms. Marvel on Disney+, and critics have already praised the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder ahead of its July 8 debut in theaters. Shortly after this, Star Wars will be back in the streaming game with Diego Luna's Andor beginning on August 31, and then animation will come back with The Bad Batch on September 28.

With so many new releases on the way and plenty more social and political challenges to be faced, Chapek will be as busy as ever.


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