Bob Iger has been asked to return to Disney as its Chief Executive Office less than a year after he stepped down. Disney has announced that effective immediately that the 71-year-old Exec will once again take the reigns as CEO. Bog Iger has worked with Disney for over forty years and previously held the CEO position for 15 years before he handed over the position to Bob Chapek.
“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 the Board. “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.”
The plan is that over the next two years Mr. Iger will help Disney navigate through a number of strategic changes for growth while also working with the Board to choose a successor. There are quite a number of achievements that have happened under Bob Iger’s leadership. Disney notes that it acquired Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox during Bob Iger’s previous tenure and its market capitalization increased fivefold.
“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Iger said. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”
Trouble at Disney?
It has been reported by The New York Times that Disney fired Bob Chapek due to a number of issues with his leadership of the company. Most recently Disney reported on November 8 that it had failed to meet its fiscal growth expectations of $21.3 billion and achieved a growth of 9%, or $20.15 billion, as of October 1. Disney shares dropped by 12% the day after the announcement. It was also said that even though Disney+ saw an uptick in subscribership the company has suffered roughly $1.5 billion in losses. These, and other factors led to Disney asking Bob Iger to return for a two-year contract. From analysts to investors, and employees to customers, there have been a number of people who’ve expressed displeasure with Chapek’s leadership.
“Mr. Iger, 71, agreed to a two-year contract after the board determined that Mr. Chapek, 62, had done irreparable damage to his ability to lead, with a string of missteps resulting in the lost confidence of Wall Street and most senior Disney executives, as well as many rank-and-file employees.“