Reporting from multiple sources is that Disney, after a rough 3rd quarter earnings report, has asked CEO Bob Chapek to step down and has brought back Bob Iger as CEO. Iger was Chapek’s predecessor until he stepped down in 2020. This turned out to be a really bad time to get the big chair at Disney as it meant that Chapek got stuck navigating the entire company through the Covid-19 shutdowns that affected Disney’s entire business including the movie industry and Parks. While nothing prevented people from streaming, the precautions in place also meant that the production of new material was thrown into chaos as well.
“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 on Sunday night. “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 is considered by many as the architect of the modern Disney. He was CEO for 15 years and during that period he launched Disney+, lead the company through its acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, as well as the push for the $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox.
That period allowed Disney to gain a bigger foothold in the IP world and strengthened its control of Hulu, transforming it from an entity owned by 3 and later 4 companies to being essentially a Disney brand. Disney will soon buy out its last remaining parter Comcast. With Iger at the helm it is likely that the next moves will similarly strengthen the company.