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The Walt Disney Company elects Susan E. Arnold as chairman of the board

Arnold is the first woman ever to lead the Walt Disney Company board

The Walt Disney Company has elected Susan E. Arnold as chairman of the board, effective Dec. 31.

Arnold, a 14-year member of the Disney Board who has served as its independent lead director since 2018, will succeed Robert A. Iger as chairman when he departs the company at the end of the year.

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. She was formerly an operating executive of the equity investment firm, The Carlyle Group, where she served from 2013 to 2021. Previously, she served as president, global business units, Procter & Gamble from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that at Procter & Gamble, Arnold was vice chair, beauty and health from 2006, vice chair, beauty from 2004, and president, global personal beauty care and global feminine care from 2002. She was a director at McDonald’s from 2008 to 2016 and a director at NBTY from 2013 to 2017.

Iger has served as chairman of the board since 2012, and as Disney’s executive chairman since 2020, directing the company’s creative endeavors. From 2005-2020 he led Disney as chief executive officer.  

During his tenure, Iger built Disney into one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies. As chief executive officer, he helped with the acquisitions of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009, Lucasfilm in 2012, 21st Century Fox in 2019 and the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort and the release of several films including Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” Disney’s “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” and Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Iger most recently leveraged cutting-edge, direct-to-consumer technology with the launch of the Disney+ streaming service in 2019 and ESPN+ in 2018.