The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors recalls its former boss, Bob Iger. He succeeds Bob Chapek and will have the primary mission of reviving the growth of the group, in particular thanks to Disney+.
It is, it seems, impossible to run the Walt Disney Company if your name is not Bob. The Disney board of directors recalled the group’s ex-CEO (2005-2020), Bob Iger, who had been replaced by Bob Chapek before the Covid-19 pandemic. A decision that comes in a tense economic context, after two years of health crisis and the series of disappointments in recent months.
Bob Iger “has agreed to serve as CEO of Disney for two years, with a mandate from the board of directors to set the strategic direction for further growth,” the group said in a statement. The news was greeted on Wall Street by a rise in the Walt Disney Company stock of 10% before the opening of the session on Monday, November 21. Bob Iger has long been known to Disney employees, so the leadership transition should be “seamless,” in the board’s words.
The new CEO of the group hastened to send an email to employees on Sunday evening to announce the news. “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 to announce that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Executive Director. general,” he wrote, according to CNBC who was able to get the message.
Chapek’s vision criticized
The decision of the Disney board of directors comes after two complicated years for the giant with big ears. Bob Chapek, now ex-CEO, was appointed at the start of 2020. The world was then about to experience two years of pandemic with the arrival of Covid-19. Disneyland parks were forced to close before they could reopen with low visitor gauges. Several blockbusters had to be postponed, especially on the side of the Marvel franchise.
Bob Chapek bears the brunt of the direct consequences of his management of the company on the group’s finances. Earlier this month, the Walt Disney Company announced disappointing financial results for analysts. The action has fallen by more than 40% since the start of 2022. The ex-CEO then planned budgetary restriction measures, in particular layoffs, in order to limit the damage.
Bob Iger tasked with finding a successor
According to the board, Bob Chapek has officially resigned. “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. .
Formerly close, Bob Chapek and Bob Iger had ended up no longer agreeing on the management of the company, particularly on the question of the pricing policy of Disney streaming platforms. The Disney+ subscription had increased several times in recent months.
Bob Iger is expected to serve a single two-year term. A period that he will use to “find a successor at the head of the company”.
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