BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – Media giant The Walt Disney Company elected Susan E Arnold as its new chairperson of the board, the first female chairperson of the executive board. She will take over this position from executive chairman Robert A Iger on December 31, 2021. 

Sixty-seven-year-old Arnold has been on the company’s board since 2014, and as the lead independent director since 2018.As per the press release issued by Disney, she brings with her an extensive public-company board experience. 

She had joined Procter and Gamble in 1980 and retired after attaining the post of the company’s President, Global Business Units in 2009. Since then, she has remained actively involved with various businesses including as an operating executive of the equity investment firm The Carlyle Group and as a board member for McDonald’s Corporation and NBTY Incorporated. 

Her expertise lies in areas like brand management and marketing, environmental sustainability, product and business development, international consumer markets, finance, and executive and risk management. 

In his official statement over the announcement, Iger said, “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. She is the perfect choice for (Chairperson) of the Board, and I am confident the company is well-positioned for continued success under her guidance and leadership.” He also thanked Susan and other board members for the support they provided him during his term as the chairperson. 

Arnold praised Iger on behalf of the board for his extraordinary leadership, recounting his several accomplishments for the company in the past couple of decades. She further said, “Bob has led Disney to amazing heights both creatively and financially, with his clear strategic vision for delivering high-quality branded storytelling, embracing cutting-edge technology, and expanding internationally, and he’s left an indelible mark on The Walt Disney Company that will be felt for generations to come.” 

Regarding her new responsibilities as the chairperson, she said she looks forward to serving the long-term interests of Disney’s shareholders. She also said she was all set to work closely with CEO Bob Chapek as he builds upon the “Company’s century-long legacy of creative excellence and innovation.”