HomeNewsBob Iger Returns as Disney CEO, Replacing Bob Chapek

Bob Iger Returns as Disney CEO, Replacing Bob Chapek

The Mouseketeers are marching to a new drummer—actually an old one—with the return of Bob Iger as helm of the entertainment giant. The Walt Disney Company announced that Iger would be replacing Bob Chapek immediately. Chapek had replaced Iger as CEO of the company a scant two years ago.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, Disney board chair Susan Arnold said, “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.” Sha added that “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.”

The move sent Disney stock up 9% on Monday morning, representing a vote of confidence on the part of investors. Over the past year, its stock had lost about 36% of its value, with its streaming business losing $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter alone.

During his brief tenure, Bob Chapek headed the company during one of the most difficult periods in its history, when the COVID pandemic and culture wars controversies combined to present unique challenges to the media empire.

In the spring of 2022, he apologized for his initial silence on Florida’s controversial “don’t say gay” legislation. In a letter to employees, Chapek wrote: “Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was.”

As a result of his initial hesitation, Chapek was forced into damage control, declaring that Disney would be opposing similar legislation outside of Florida and that the company would be “hard at work creating a new framework for our political giving that will ensure our advocacy better reflects our values.” Iger, on the other hand, had taken a strong public stance against the so-called legislation, telling an interviewer: “To me, it wasn’t about politics. It is about what is right and what is wrong, and that just seemed wrong. It seemed potentially harmful to kids.”

Iger had spent 15 years as Disney’s CEO, during which time the company acquired major brands like Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixel. He spearheaded the $71 billion deal to buy a major chunk of 21st Century Fox and also created Disney’s streaming service, Disney (DIS)+.

Though he had earlier dismissed the notion he might be returning to head Disney, Iger told reporters that “I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO.”

Check out more of Edward Moran’s articles

Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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