The Walt Disney Company has once again shocked the media industry with the news that Bob Chapek has been ousted as CEO and the man he took over from, Bob Iger, is returning.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s board of directors. “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 announced his intention to step down as Disney CEO in February 2020, but remained as chairman until the end of 2021. Less than 12 months later, he is back with the company.
Disney added that Iger has agreed to serve 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 another successor to lead the company.
Disney’s third quarter results were lower than expected, which led to the company’s stock dropping in value. The company is now the leader in streaming subscribers, surpassing Netflix, but it is losing about $1 billion a year on its direct-to-consumer video business.
“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. “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. I am deeply honoured to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”