First published in the Jan. 14 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Walt Disney Company recently announced that Nike Executive Chairman Mark Parker has been chosen as its new chairman of the board, replacing longtime board member Susan Arnold, whose term limit is expiring.
The appointment is effective following Disney’s annual meeting of shareholders, which is expected to take place in March.
“Mark Parker is an incredibly well-respected leader who over seven years as a Disney director has helped the company effectively navigate through a time of unprecedented change,” Arnold said in a statement.
“During his four decades at Nike, Mark has led one of the world’s most recognized consumer brands through various market evolutions and a successful CEO transition, and he is uniquely positioned to chair the Disney Board during this period of transformation.”
Parker’s election as chairman is the latest major leadership change for Disney, which in November brought back Bob Iger as chief executive, replacing the ousted Bob Chapek. Before Chapek’s leadership, Iger served as the Burbank-based entertainment giant’s CEO for 15 years.
“Mark Parker’s vision, incredible depth of experience and wise counsel have been invaluable to Disney, and I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role, along with our other directors, as we chart the future course for this amazing company,” Iger said in a statement.
“On behalf of my fellow board members and the entire Disney management team, I also want to thank Susan for her superb leadership as chairman and for her tireless work over the past 15 years as an exemplary steward of the Disney brand,” he added.
Parker served as Nike’s chairman and CEO until 2020, when he became executive chairman of the company.
With Arnold’s exit, the size of the board will be reduced to 11 members.