Exit Disney Exec and Bob Chapek Confidante Arthur Bochner

Change continues within The Walt Disney Company, following the return of CEO Bob Iger less than a week ago. The next CEO to come out is Arthur Buechner, diverse Confirmed via a source familiar with the exec.

As Puck News first reported, Bochner’s exit probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given that he’s been behind much of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s messaging as the chief speechwriter. Buechner served as Chapek’s chief of staff until last August, and most recently was moved to the position of vice president of strategic communications as Chapek faced mounting controversy — including his response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Jay” bill, which first angered Disney employees.

Recently, Bochner was behind Chapek’s remarks on Disney’s third-quarter earnings call. Chapek’s performance on that call, and a follow-up memo to staff, is believed to have led to his eventual ouster by Disney’s board of directors.

Buechner is the second high-profile Disney executive to leave after Iger returned to lead the company on Sunday. The next day, in a memo to Disney employees, Iger announced that Karim Daniel, the president of Disney Media and Entertainment District, would be stepping down from his position.

Iger also shared that a restructuring at the media giant will begin “in the coming weeks.”

Buechner, like Daniel, was seen as Chapek’s chief lieutenant, which made the departures of both executives predictable. Still gasping at the surprise announcement, Disney employees wrote in a note late Sunday night announcing that Iger would return to helm the Mouse House, with CEO Chapek’s resignation effective immediately after a turbulent tenure of nearly three years.

According to his most recent job description, as Vice President of Strategic Communications, his duties included “reporting to the Chief Communications Officer, leading and setting a vision for a new strategic communications function charged with protecting and enhancing The Walt Disney Company’s reputation with external and internal stakeholders.”

Buechner spent just over nine years at The Walt Disney Company. Prior to assuming the role of Chief of Staff at Chapek in March 2020, he was Director of Public Affairs and Executive Engagement for Disney Parks Experiences and Products. He first joined Disney in October 2013 as Senior Director, Executive Communications and Licensing, Disney Consumer Products.

Prior to Disney, Buechner worked briefly at Bloomberg. He also spent three years in communications at Citigroup. Buechner also worked for the George W. Bush administration in several communications roles, writing speeches and strategy for the National Republican Senate Committee.

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