Bob Iger Reinstated as Disney CEO; Chopek Out

Bob Iger, CEO of Disney
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney

Disney announced on 20NOV that it had re-appointed Bob Iger as CEO, effective immediately.

“It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility — and, I must admit, a bit of amazement — that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer,” Iger wrote to employees in an email.

Bob Chapek, who was Iger's hand-picked replacement, took over from Iger in FEB 2020. Chapek has stepped down as CEO effective immediately, reports CNN.

“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.”

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Iger had previously said he wouldn't return to the role.

The change in leadership comes after Chapek said he planned to cut costs at the company, reports NBC. Earlier in NOV, Disney's earnings underperformed Wall Street’s expectations. Its theme park business, which reported a surge in revenue, delivered less than analysts had projected despite price hikes. There were also reports of plans for major layoffs at the company, says NBC. The move also comes despite Disney recently announcing it was extending Chapek's tenure to JUL 2025.

During his previous tenure as CEO, Iger spent 15 years in the position where during that time he was "instrumental" in acquiring major brands like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, the home of Star Wars. Iger also closed the USD $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox and kicked off the start of streaming service Disney+ in NOV 2019. He stayed on as executive chairman directing the company’s creative endeavors, then officially left Disney after nearly 50 years at the end of 2021.

Disney said 21NOV 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 a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.”

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