Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Disney Fires CEO, Brings Back Predecessor Bob Iger

Disney fired CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with his predecessor Bob Iger.


Summary

There’s disquiet in the House of Mouse. Late Sunday night, Disney fired CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with his predecessor Bob Iger. Chapek’s two years as CEO have been “marked by clashes, missteps, and a weakening financial performance.”

  • Disney’s shocking about-face comes a fortnight after Disney shares declined 12 percent after the company’s quarterly financial report fell well short of market expectations.
  • Disney shares hit a 52-week low just a few days ago, and the company’s shares have fallen 41 percent so far in 2022.
  • Disney’s board determined Chapek “had done irreparable damage to his ability to lead, with a string of missteps resulting in the lost confidence of Wall Street and most senior Disney executives.”
  • Chapek’s tenure included a widely-publicized feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after Disney took a public stand against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, leading to DeSantis signing into a law a bill terminating Disney’s special tax district for its Orlando hotels and parks.
  • Returning CEO Bob Iger has publicly taken issue with several of Chapek’s decisions, including his reorganization of the company and the recently-announced price increase for Disney+.
  • Bob Iger previously served as chief executive of The Walt Disney Co. for 15 years before retiring last year. He will return to the post for two more years effective immediately.

reporting from the left side of the aisle

 

  • Investors cheered the news, according to CNN, after Disney stock lost roughly 40 percent of its value over the course of 2022. The company just had an underwhelming earnings report showing the company’s streaming service lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter.
  • NBC News reported Iger had initially favored Chapek as his successor before the two had a falling out. The Chapek-Iger conflict “cast a shadow over the company’s future” as Chapek worked to distance himself from his predecessor in their approaches to Disney’s streaming business.
  • The Washington Post noted Chapek’s “short tenure” was hallmarked by “an internal culture war” sparked by the company’s “missteps” in handling the controversy over Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.

 

 

  • Breitbart characterized Disney’s move as a ”woke fail.” Writer Paul Bois argued the brand became “toxic” after Chapek “plunged the brand into woke politics,” leading to layoffs and a drop in the company’s stock prices.
  • National Review noted Disney’s “shocking” announcement came after the company’s “woke war” with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and only months after Chapek renewed his contract for another three years.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported Disney’s stock price climbed Monday after the entertainment giant announced its CEO shakeup. Disney stock was up about 9% in premarket trading, which would represent Disney’s biggest one-day gain since December 2020 if it’s sustained.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022

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