After a brief, turbulent stint, Bob Iger replaces Bob Chapek as CEO of Disney.


After a brief, turbulent stint, Bob Iger replaces Bob Chapek as CEO of Disney. In a startling late-Sunday statement, Disney said that it has reappointed Iger as CEO, effective immediately, after Iger’s hand-picked successor, Bob Chapek, faced criticism for how he ran the media and entertainment behemoth.

Iger informed staff members in an email acquired by CNBC that he would be returning to The Walt Disney Company as CEO. “I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer,” Iger wrote.

A Dow component, Disney’s shares were up about 6% in Monday’s midday trading.

The sudden change occurs days after Chapek announced his intention to decrease expenditures at the firm, which has been burdened by rising costs at its streaming service, Disney+, and 11 months after Iger left Disney. The company’s profits earlier this month significantly fell short of Wall Street’s projections. Even its theme park division, reported a jump in revenue, below expectations.

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Iger’s return also occurs as legacy media businesses struggle to adapt to a quickly changing environment as ad money disappears and cable subscriptions are increasingly being canceled in favor of streaming.

Iger will work with the company’s board to find a new replacement, according to an announcement from Disney.

In February 2020, Chapek was appointed CEO, taking over for Iger, who had already declared he wouldn’t return to the position.

Disney announced on Sunday that Iger had agreed to serve as CEO for a period of two years with “a mandate from the Board to determine the strategic direction for renewed development and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the conclusion of his term.”

The business claimed Chapek resigned. Covid-19 became a pandemic not long after Chapek assumed leadership in 2020, forcing the closure of Disney’s theme parks and, for a time, preventing it from releasing films in theatres. Nevertheless, the company’s stock rose dramatically in 2021 before plummeting in recent months.

The chair of Disney’s board, Susan Arnold, said, “We thank Bob Chapek for his dedication to Disney over the course of his lengthy career, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.” She’ll continue to play that part.

According to a memo obtained by CNBC earlier this month, Chapek, whose term as CEO was renewed earlier this year, planned a hiring freeze, cost reductions, and layoffs across the organization. Three days following the company’s disappointing quarterly results announcement, an internal memo was sent out.

Iger, who served as Disney’s CEO for 15 years, had preferred Chapek to succeed him. In the end, the two fell out, and their argument put doubt on the company’s future. Chapek took a number of actions to separate himself from Iger, including

Iger is a well-liked and respected leader at Disney. He oversaw the company’s acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm and its Star Wars franchises, and Marvel, which have all grown into multibillion-dollar behemoths in the world of intellectual property.

Employees were enraged by Chapek’s initial reticence over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” statute, where the company’s Walt Disney World resort is located. Republican leaders, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, retaliated against him for his opposition. In advance of the GOP taking control of the House, Chapek reportedly spoke with Republican leaders earlier this month, according to a report from CNBC.

Additionally, Chapek received criticism for the way he handled the wage dispute involving Scarlett Johansson’s performance in the Marvel film “Black Widow.”