Bob Iger, big Daddy Bobby, is back as Disney’s CEO after it was revealed that former CEO, Bob Chapek, has left the company with immediate effect (via The Guardian). This is pretty much unprecedented, even in the world of Hollywood, which is a very fast-moving world, especially today.
Disney wouldn’t be the monolith in the entertainment industry it is today without Iger’s leadership. He spent 15 years in charge of the House Of House, and during that time, Disney made a series of big acquisitions, including the Marvel film franchise, the Pixar animation studio and the Star Wars film franchise.
Bob Chapek out, Bob Iger in!
Iger retired as chief executive in 2020, having delayed his exit several times to guide the company through the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Bob Chapek, who formerly ran its theme parks division, replaced him, but stayed on as executive chairman until the end of last year.
So, it’s been revealed that Iger will be returning as CEO with immediate effect and will serve for two years. This was revealed in a statement made by Disney late on Sunday. The company highlighted a fivefold market value increase under his leadership, adding that he had a “mandate from the board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth” while it looked once more for a long-term successor.
The search for Iger’s successor at Disney has begun… again…
Michael Antonelli, a market strategist at Baird, a US asset manager, said Iger’s return was “probably the most significant piece of corporate upheaval since [Steve] Jobs went back to Apple”. Moreover, the news sent Disney’s shares up more than 8% – nearly $14bn – when Wall Street opened on Monday.
“We applaud Disney’s board for the courage to make this change,” said Michael Nathanson, senior analyst at MoffettNathanson. “We have never hidden our affection for Mr Iger and the job that he did in building Disney into the global powerhouse that it has become.”
Disney’s era of Chapek is over. Thank God!
It has to be said that Chapek’s time in charge of Disney has not been a particularly good one. He’s faced controversy after controversy, and we have even been told on multiple occasions that people inside the company were really upset with his vision for Disney’s future and felt that he treated creatives pretty poorly.
We were even told that there was something of a civil war inside the House Of Mouse, with the heads of Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar all having issues with the way the company was being run under Chapek’s watch. It seems as though the board have taken the rather difficult decision to call it a day on Chapek’s era and bring back Iger to steady the ship.
How long will Bob Iger stay on as Disney’s CEO?
Now, they are claiming that this is only going to be for two years. However, I can see Iger sticking around for a lot longer. They are currently looking for a successor, but after what happened with Chapek, I think that Disney and Iger might want to take a bit longer to find the perfect person to take control of the House Of Mouse.
What do you make of this news? Are you as shocked as we were to hear that Bob Chapek had been ousted as Disney CEO and replaced by Bob Iger? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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