The news that Bob Iger has returned to the role of CEO of The Walt Disney Company has the Disney and business worlds buzzing. With the announcement that Bob Chapek was no longer with the company and Iger back, questions are being asked about how this all happened. CNBC has revealed a general overview of what happened to lead to the changing of the Bobs.
The recent earnings report that The Walt Disney Company released is really what tipped the scale on this transition. This comes after months of growing concerns about Chapek’s leadership of the company. During this time, the Board was divided on the future of Chapek’s leadership of Disney. The company announced it missed earnings expectations and also had a larger-than-expected loss in its Direct to Consumer businesses. Three days after the fiscal report, Bob Chapek reacted to it by announcing cost-cutting measures and a new cost-cutting task force. This task force would include Chapek with CFO, Christine McCarthy and also General Counsel, Horacio Gutierrez. The company’s fiscal report missing expectations, Chapek’s less-than-stellar performance announcing it, and then taking action on it led to the concerns coming to a head.
Ultimately, those concerns led to Disney’s Board of Directors reaching out to Bob Iger on Friday. According to CNBC’s David Faber, the discussion was about who could replace Bob Chapek. Several candidates inside The Walt Disney Company were identified that could potentially take over the role of CEO over time. However, this did not seem like a wise course of action to throw someone straight into the deep end given all of the challenges facing the company currently.
With those thoughts in mind, the discussion turned to Iger taking over the position for a second time. As mentioned in the announcement by the Board, this role will last for two years. During these two years, Iger will be tasked with setting a strategic direction for the company and also working with the Board to find a successor.
On Sunday, Disney moved to make the change of CEO at The Walt Disney Company. The change was effective immediately. According to various sources, Chapek was notified of the change on Sunday night. The Walt Street Journal reported that Chapek had originally been set to introduce Elton John at Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium which also streamed live globally on Disney+. It was reported that many executives found out about the change of leadership while at the concert, reading an email sent by Bob Iger on their phones.
Today Bob Iger is once again the CEO of The Walt Disney Company. In the coming days, weeks, and months, it will be seen what decisions made by Bob Chapek in the last nearly three years remain and what decisions are overturned. The same will go for the team that Bob Chapek built around him while running the company and also the way he restructured its segments. Business insiders and Disney fans will be watching every step that Iger takes moving forward to see what the future of The Walt Disney Company will look like. The new questions won’t be how Disney got to where it is today with Iger in charge, they will still be looking at where Iger begins to take Disney.