Former Disney chief Bob Chapek was ousted after the CFO worked behind his back, the report said

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek was reportedly fired after actions by the company’s chief financial officer who deemed him “incompetent.”

In a new report, The Wall Street Journal said the leader had lost the support of fans, executives and the public after a clash with CFO Christine McCarthy, a fight with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the loss of billions of dollars at Disney’s streaming division Board of Directors of the company alike.

According to the publication, former Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger “undermined his successor” and was “well known” that he was “dissatisfied with Chapek,” the report said, adding that he told people close to him Chapek does “a terrible job and that he was incompetent.”

While Iger left Disney last year after over a decade there, the newspaper said a Nov. 16 call from McCarthy, who was “sick of Mr. Chapek’s performance and leadership,” had proved instrumental in getting Iger back to bring to the top.


Two days later, CEO Susan Arnold offered him the job, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Bob Chapek

Bob Chapek attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (David Livingston/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“This account of how Mr. Iger succeeded his successor is based on first-hand accounts from current and former Disney executives, as well as people close to the company who are familiar with the events, actions and conversations leading up to Mr. Chapek’s.” led to a fall,” it said.

The New York Times reported extensively on Arnold’s call to Iger, citing three people with knowledge of the matter, and the Financial Times said in November McCarthy had contacted the board to complain about Chapek’s leadership.

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In June, the board unanimously extended Chapek’s contract to 2024, but in late September, the Wall Street Journal report said McCarthy told directors that Disney was likely “to miss analysts’ expectations for revenue and earnings in the coming quarter,” and Chapek reportedly complained to colleagues that McCarthy had provided figures that had not previously been discussed,” and omitted them at an October board meeting.

On November 11, he had issued a memo freezing new hires.

Christine McCarthy

Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Co. listens during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on April 29, 2019. (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)


After two years on the job, during one of the most challenging times in the company’s history, the report said Chapek dropped out on November 20 and Iger – who had chosen Chapek to succeed him – was back.

“The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry change, Bob Iger is in a unique position to lead the company through this pivotal phase,” said Susan Arnold, chief executive officer in a statement.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney throughout his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” she said.

Bob Iger

Robert Iger on November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Rich Fury/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“It is with an incredible feeling of gratitude and humility — and, I must admit, a bit of astonishment — that I write to you tonight with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as chief executive officer,” Iger wrote in an email to the employees.

He would earn a base salary of $1 million and return for two years.

“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,” said wieder appointed CEO in a company press release. “I am deeply honored to be asked to once again lead this remarkable team with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”


Iger signaled that the company would begin implementing organizational and operational changes.

“My intention is to restructure things in a way that values ​​and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” he later told employees.

FOX Business’ request for comment from Disney was not immediately responded to at the time of publication.

Eric Revell, Peter Aitken and The Associated Press of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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