Bob Chapek resigns as the CEO of Disney within a year of taking over. He will be replaced by Bob Iger, who held the position previously.
Bob Iger acted as the CEO of Disney for over a decade and was involved in the taking over of Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel Entertainment. Iger also played a pivotal role in Disney’s infamous acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
Iger resigned as the CEO of Disney after having a decade-long successful career with the studio. However, it seems like the studio is bringing him back soon enough.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Iger will officially return as the CEO of Disney, following the departure of Bob Chapek from the position. The studio has not revealed much about this sudden change in position.
However, a recent statement by Disney hints that officials feel Iger is more suited to deal with the studio in the midst of the consequences of the pandemic. Read Susan Arnold’s (Chairman of the Disney Board) statement below-
We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. 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.
Disney’s deal with Iger will be a temporary one with a time period of two years. The Disney board hopes to train a new successor.
Reports also indicate that Chapek’s initial appointment as Disney’s CEO was not taken favorably by many working at the studio. Several officials believed Tom Staggs, Disney’s former COO, was a better-suited candidate for the position compared to Chapek.
There were also rumors of ongoing tensions between Iger and Chapek during the latter’s take over as CEO, as Chapek wished to take hold of leadership duties as soon as possible. Chapek’s appointment was also followed by a number of controversies in the studio.
The new CEO shifted his focus largely towards the streaming platform instead of theatrical releases, making several upcoming projects, Disney+ releases instead of theatrical ones. Pixar’s Luca and Turning Red are two such examples.
Chapek’s decision angered the animators, who have been working tirelessly for their work to reach the big screen, albeit with a delay. The controversial decision to focus on streaming media also led Disney to face a lawsuit from Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson. Johansson and Disney went through a tough time before eventually resolving the matter.
Another significant controversy during Chapek’s tenure as CEO was with regard to his mishandling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. Though Chapek initially offered no explanations, he later publicly apologized for the situation. Chapek also promised to stop donations to all political parties in the state, following a massive backlash.
Thus, Iger’s successful and consistent tenure with Disney proves that he is a better suited candidate to deal with such situations when compared to Chapek. No official date for Iger’s reinstatement as Disney’s CEO has been announced yet. Hopefully, Iger’s reappointment will bring back Disney’s glory days soon enough.