Bob Chapek, head of the Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts division, is viewed as the successor to Bob Iger, according to Bloomberg News, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.
Iger has been CEO since 2005. He is scheduled to retire in July, 2019, and may name a chief operating officer or president before he departs.
Since taking over the theme-park division in February 2015, Chapek ensured the Shanghai resort, Disney’s largest foreign investment, turned a profit in its first year of operation. He also boosted attendance at U.S. parks by opening a “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride in Anaheim and an “Avatar”-themed attraction in Orlando, Bloomberg said.
Chapek has focused on pricing, introducing a tiered system of tickets that cost more during peak times and eliminating some annual passes, Bloomberg said.
In Disney’s fiscal year-end results announced Nov. 9, Chapek’s division was the only one of four major units to post an increase in sales and profit.
Chapek has worked for 24 years at Disney, including roles in the film studio and consumer products.