Walt Disney has elected a woman to chair its board for the first time in it’s 98-year history.
Susan Arnold, a 14-year member of the Disney board, will look to draw upon her experience in executive positions at Procter & Gamble and the Carlyle Group and as a director of McDonald’s as she assumes a lead role in navigating one of the world’s largest media companies.
“As I step into this new role as chairman of the board, I look forward to continuing to serve the long-term interests of Disney’s shareholders and working closely with CEO Bob Chapek as he builds upon the company’s century-long legacy of creative excellence and innovation,” Ms Arnold said in a statement.
She has also served in senior roles at some of America’s biggest companies.
For the last eight years Ms Arnold has been an executive at Carlyle Group, having previously held roles at consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble and fast food chain McDonald’s.
“Susan is an incredibly esteemed executive whose wealth of experience, unwavering integrity, and expert judgment have been invaluable to the company since she first joined the Board in 2007,” Mr Iger said.
Her appointment comes as large companies are moving away from management structures where the chief executive and chairperson roles are held by the same person after pressure from corporate governance experts, investors and, in some cases, regulators to separate the two key positions.
Mr Iger’s exit marks the end of an era for Disney, who has been in a senior role at the company since 1996.
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