Disney Is Under New/Old Management as Bob Chapek Is Fired, Bob Iger Returns Effective Immediately
In a strange moment of clarity on behalf of Disney, Bob Chapek’s infamously poorly received run as CEO has been cut short and his predecessor, Bob Iger, is returning. The Hollywood Reporter shared that Disney’s board of directors made a statement about this change in leadership Sunday.
Susan Arnold, chairman of the board, said of the change, “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.”
She continued, “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.” Iger’s return is meant to be temporary to reset many of the issues that came under Chapek’s tenure.
The board has stated that Iger “has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years, with a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.” Of course, there will still need to be a replacement found, but this is a bold move from the company, especially since Chapek just signed a new contract in June.
In his statement, Iger reassured his team that he is optimistic about the future of the company and streamlining the future of Disney.
“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 in a statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Iger plans to address the employees today: “I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty — perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty — our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.”
Chapek’s run at Disney has been tainted by his inaction on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the campaign against Scarlet Johansson about her payment with Black Widow, and alleged antagonism towards talent. As Disney has acquired more and more, it has also dealt with a nearly $1.5 billion loss in streaming services. While still making a lot of money, the truth is Disney’s magic is mainly running on a lot of nostalgia and superhero fumes. There is only so long that will last, especially when, for every great film they put out, there is a lot of filler.
(via THR, featured image: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
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