Skip to main content

Michigan State University masthead

Simplify and Focus for Business Success the Main Theme of Detroit Executive Forum

By Alan Piñon

As chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Broad alumnus Bob Chapek (MBA Marketing ’84) oversees six resort destinations for Disney that span across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He also manages Disney’s top-rated cruise line, as well as a variety of other Disney adventure experiences.  Despite the complexities and massive scale of the operations he oversees, Chapek boils it all down to one thing, the desire to “exceed guests’ expectation every day” in everything they do.

Bob Chapek stand between two large monitors on a stage.
Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Having that ability to simplify and focus down the many aspects of a large scale business operation was the main point that Chapek drove home during is talk as the featured guest at the MSU Detroit Executive Forum. Being able to distill things in a way that is relatable to everyone in the organization regardless of their title or job is key to achieving great results in any size organization, Chapek said.

With a team of 145,000 cast members, crew and “imagineers” servicing the 100 million guests who visit Disney properties each year, Chapek says the entire team is driven by the same, sincere belief that what they do matters. “It matters to families that visit and come to share an experience together and make memories. We truly believe we have a higher-calling, we are all stewards of the brand,” Chapek said.

Sanjay Gupta stands a podium in the Detroit Athletic Club.
Sanjay Gupta, dean of the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

In order to keep the magic of Disney alive and thriving, Chapek says the company invests heavily in its cast members, who in-turn, feed into the positive culture at the company that drives a quality guest experience across all of its many properties.

“We were delighted to have Bob give us some insights into the Disney way and share with us his vast business experience in a global company,” said Sanjay Gupta, dean of the Broad College of Business. “Bob’s willingness to continuously engage with us here at Michigan State University is a testament to his leadership style and a reflection of his character. He is authentic, loyal, and he works tirelessly to give back to his community and support those around him.”

The MSU Detroit Executive Forum is an annual event presented by the Broad College of Business and the College of Engineering at Michigan State University, along with the Metro Detroit Spartans.

The 2016 Forum was sponsored by i9 Advantage, Kar’s, Foster Swift, Bosch, FCA Group, Morgan Stanley, Ford Motor Co., GreenRock Capital/Green Rock Partners, and the Center for Spartan Engineering.

Since 1965, the Detroit Forum has hosted CEOs and senior executives of many Fortune 100 companies.


Eli Broad College of Business

facebook instagram linkedin twitter youtube
Michigan State University

Contact Information Site Map Privacy Statement Site Accessibility
Call MSU: (517) 355-1855 Visit: msu.edu MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Notice of Nondiscrimination
SPARTANS WILL. © Michigan State University