Bob Iger is returning as Disney CEO in a dramatic shakeup

Bob Iger is returning as Disney CEO in a surprising management shakeup, with present CEO Bob Chapek stepping down, the corporate introduced in a press launch. Iger is about to return briefly for 2 years, with a mandate for “renewed progress” and to search out and groom his successor. Iger mentioned he is returning “with an unbelievable sensor of gratitude and humility — and, I need to admit, a little bit of amazement.”

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his lengthy profession, together with navigating the corporate by the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” mentioned Disney chairman Susan Arnold in an announcement. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an more and more complicated interval of business transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely located to guide the Firm by this pivotal interval.”

Iger handpicked Chapek to observe him as CEO, however a conflict of their kinds shortly grew to become clear. Iger was generally known as a talent- and creative-friendly CEO, whereas Chapek targeted on streaming, significantly because the pandemic decimated Disney’s theme park and theatrical distribution companies.

Beneath Chapek, nonetheless, Disney initially didn’t react to Florida’s “Do not Say Homosexual” invoice and criticized Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson over her lawsuit involving streaming vs. theatrical distribution. And through a Disney retreat, Iger reportedly urged the corporate to not rely excessively on knowledge to make choices — seen by some as a dig at Chapek, in response to The Hollywood Reporter.

Beneath Chapek, Disney+ has grown to 235 million subscribers (together with ESPN and Hulu), however the firm misplaced $1.5 billion on streaming final quarter. Its market capitalization has additionally fallen from $257.6 billion in Iger’s final full 12 months to $163.5 billion. A lot of that fall is pandemic associated, although, as film theaters and Disney’s parks had been pressured to close down.

The transfer comes as a shock contemplating that Disney had renewed Bob Chapek’s contract for 3 years (no remark from Chapel was accessible within the press launch). Iger, in the meantime, has a near-mythical standing at Disney CEO, having presided over the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and twentieth Century Fox. That legacy will likely be put to the take a look at, although, as Disney faces difficult occasions — the corporate not too long ago introduced plans to freeze hiring and mentioned that layoffs are prone to come quickly. 

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