Disney is already dusting off former CEO Bob Iger after less than one year in retirement.
According to a Deadline report, The Walt Disney Company is shaking up its CEO situation, with former chief Bob Iger stepping back in and current chief Bob Chapek getting the boot —a monstrous move for the House of Mouse.
Having handed over the baton as CEO in February 2020 to Chapek — a stunning move unto itself at the time — and then serving as executive chairman until the end of 2021, Iger will be CEO for a second time for the next two years, the company says. His mission will also include identifying a successor, something Iger had difficulty doing while commanding the troops the last time, postponing multiple plans to step down during his 15 years in the top job, the final stage of a 47-year run at Disney.
“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,” said board chair Susan Arnold in the official announcement, just a couple of weeks after a rougher-than-expected quarterly earnings report by the company. Once a overachiever buoyed by success in streaming, Disney’s stock has recently sunk to a multi-year low after executives warned of weak revenue and profit gains in the year to come and also hefty expenses for streaming. The company’s shares have lost roughly 40% in 2022 to date.
In the email to employees, Iger said shared the news of his return “with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement.” Providing no details on the re-hire that came together very quickly over the past few day, the once and now again CEO added that Disney “holds a special place in the hearts of people around the globe thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every single day.” The communique didn’t acknowledge Chapek, with whom Iger reportedly had a rocky relationship since the transition of power.
Read Disney’s official announcement below:
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today that Robert A. Iger is returning to lead Disney as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Iger, who spent more than four decades at the Company, including 15 years as its CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney’s 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. Mr. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has stepped down from his position.
“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 the Board. “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.”
“Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide–all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership,” she said.
The position of Chairman of the Board remains unchanged, with Ms. Arnold serving in that capacity.
“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Mr. 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 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.”
During his 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth. He expanded on Disney’s legacy of unparalleled storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox and increased the Company’s market capitalization fivefold during his time as CEO. Mr. Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative endeavors until his departure as Executive Chairman last December, and the Company’s robust pipeline of content is a testament to his leadership and vision.
More over at Deadline:
Disney Shocker! Bob Iger Back As CEO, Bob Chapek Out https://t.co/KjqMGLfdIv
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) November 21, 2022