Bob Iger Replaces Bob Chapek as Disney CEO

Posted 13 days ago

From VARIETY.COM

Bob Iger has replaced Bob Chapek as Disney’s CEO, a shocking turn of events for the world’s largest media company that has been in turmoil ever since Iger stepped down as CEO in February 2020.

The shakeup that caught the entertainment industry and Wall Street mostly by surprise was confirmed by Disney’s board of directors late Sunday. There had been rumblings of a shakeup in the C-suite but the prospect of Iger returning to the CEO job still seemed far-fetched. The turnabout recalls a situation a generation ago at Apple when Steve Jobs returned to the company he co-founded after 12 years in the wilderness. Iger was out of power as CEO for a little under three years.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s board of directors. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period.”

Chapek’s ouster comes on the heels of a third-quarter earnings report that spooked Wall Street as spending on content and marketing for Disney’s direct-to-consumer platforms hit its projected peak of $1.5 billion in fiscal 2022. Even though the Disney had previously guided Wall Street to losses of that scale, and even as Disney+ posted subscriber growth for the quarter, the river of red-ink still took a toll on Disney’s stock price. Shares fell well below the $100 mark, to $90, on Nov. 9, the day after Disney’s after-market earnings report.

Iger’s stealthy return to the top adds a dramatic finish to the soap opera that has captivated Hollywood for the past few years. Iger, given his storied 15-year run that transformed Disney through acquisitions and great ambition, would invariably cast a large shadow over his successor. But in this case, there were reports of Iger vs. Chapek tussles almost from day one.... (Read more)