Bob Iger Named Disney CEO in Shocking Development

CNN business

In a move that shocked Hollywood, Bob Iger, one of the most notable CEOs in the history of the Walt Disney company, is returning to lead the media empire once again.

Bob Chapek, who replaced Iger as CEO in 2020, is stepping down effective immediately.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney throughout his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Disney CEO Susan Arnold said in a statement Sunday night. “The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is in a unique position to lead the company through this pivotal phase.”

The announcement, while surprising the media industry, comes at a time of great development for Disney. The company came out with a lackluster earnings report that showed growth for its streaming efforts. However, this was associated with high costs. Disney’s streaming business lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. That report sent Disney stock plummeting after a year of sluggish to underperforming.

Chapek guided the company through the pandemic, one of the most turbulent periods in its nearly 100-year history, but ultimately Disney decided its future was in better hands with Iger.

Away from the pandemic, Chapek has had a short but bumpy tenure as Disney’s chief executive. Chapek, who served as Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman before taking over Iger, faced pay issues with Scarlett Johansson, one of the company’s biggest stars, as well as Disney’s struggles with Florida and its own employees . regarding the state’s controversial bill restricting certain LGBTQ topics in the classroom.

Disney’s stock has also taken a hit recently. It’s currently down about 40% this year.

As for Iger, as the leader of Disney (DIS), he has near-mythical status. He spent 15 years as CEO and was instrumental in acquiring major brands such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, home of Star Wars. Iger also completed the $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox and started the streaming revolution at Disney (DIS) with the formation of Disney (DIS)+ in November 2019.

Iger remained with Disney as executive chairman, leading the company’s creative efforts. At the end of last year, he officially left the company after almost 50 years.

Disney said Sunday that Iger has agreed to serve as CEO for two years, with “a mandate from the board to set strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the board to develop a successor to lead the company upon expiry.” to lead his term of office.”

The move also comes as a surprise as Chapek has just renewed his contract. The company’s board of directors voted unanimously to extend Chapek’s contract as CEO for an additional three years, the company said in June. Chapek’s new contract began in July and was set to run until 2025.

Also, Iger appeared to have retired with his legacy as one of Disney’s most notable and successful CEOs. Now he’s back.

“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and I am delighted to be asked by the board to return as CEO,” Iger said in a statement Sunday. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the world – especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration.”

Iger added that he was “deeply honored to once again lead this remarkable team with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”

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