This is the second shoe to drop after CEO Bob Iger promoted former parks chief Thomas Staggs to be COO early this month. Bob Chapek, who has run the Consumer Products unit since 2011, will now oversee Parks and Resorts, Disney’s second biggest business after its TV networks. He’ll report both to Iger and Staggs, and his replacement will be announced “at a later date,” the company says.
Before heading Consumer Products, the 22-year Disney veteran ran the Walt Disney Studios’ distribution and was president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. He’s credited with leading its so-called “vault strategy” — turning old films and shows into home video events.
At Consumer Products, the one-time brand manager for H.J. Heinz and advertiser at J. Walter Thompson has focused on a “brands and a franchise-driven strategy while launching new products and retail experiences that combine technological innovation and creativity,” Iger says.
Staggs adds that the “ongoing construction of Shanghai Disney Resort as well as the new Avatar-themed land at Walt Disney World continues an era of unprecedented growth and historic expansion.”
Wall Street has high expectations for the parks operation after years of costly expansion and upgrades. But early signs suggest that they will pay off. The unit’s revenues in the last three months of 2014 were up 9% vs the same period in 2013 as the number of visitors grew, and average spending per visitor rose. Disney just announced that it’s raising the price of a one-day pass to its Magic Kingdom in Orlando to $105 from $99.
Disney shares today touched $105.23, a 52-week high.