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Disney Appoints its First Female Board Chair

Walt Disney Co. has announced that Susan E. Arnold will succeed Robert Iger as chairman of the board, the first time a woman has held the position at the company, effective December 31st. 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

Iger, CEO from 2005 to 2020, expanded  profile dramatically through a series of acquisitions that included Pixar Animation and Marvel Entertainment. He was succeeded as CEO by Bob Chapek in 2020. Chapek and Arnold are tasked with leading Disney at a time of significant change and uncertainty in the entertainment industry.

The early stages of the pandemic took a toll on as theme parks, and theaters were shuttered, though they have mostly reopened. has recently focused on streaming services and making its content culturally relevant.has sought to redefine how its female characters act and behave, trading damsels in distress for independent, strong, and diverse characters celebrating female ambition.Disney characters such as Merida, in the film Brave, and Moana are strong personalities as well and are, notably, without love interests. Even Cinderella, in its latest iteration, is determined to chart her destiny.

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