Walt Disney Company: Bob Iger comes back as CEO

Shocking development at the Walt Disney Company, Hollywood’s biggest media and entertaining company. Bob Iger, former ceo, has been called back to once again run the group instead of Bob Chapek, who replaced him in 2020 after serving as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products before taking over as CEO.

Disney said that Iger will be serving as CEO for two years with “a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.”

Chapek’s performance

Chapek’s performance has not been good as Disney’s streaming business lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter this year (compared to a loss of $630 million in last year’s fourth quarter) and its stock has lost roughly 36% of its value this year, as the company’s earnings report showed. Also: revenue for the quarter was $20.1 billion, up 9% from last year, but analysts were expecting over $21 billion. “For many years, Wall Street’s focus was on how much and how quickly a streaming service could grow. That’s changed this year as services like Netflix received more scrutiny when it comes to profitability,” the CNN noted.

The announcement

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Susan Arnold, chairman of the Board for Disney, said in a statement. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period.”

Iger’s return

Iger’s performance in Disney has been a successful one instead. Ceo of the company between 2005 and 2020, his role has been crucial in acquiring major brands like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, the home to Star Wars. He also closed the $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox and paved the way to the streaming shift at Disney by establishing Disney+ in November 2019.

In 2020 he became executive chairman directing at Disney, then officially left the company in February 2022. Before his return just 10 months later.

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

He also added that he is “deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”