- Former CEO Bob Iger is surprisingly returning to lead Disney.
- According to the announcement, he has agreed to take up the position again for a period of two years.
- It said current CEO Bob Chapek had resigned.
Previously, Egger was President of Entertainment for 15 years. He resigned in February 2020 but remains with the group as CEO.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the internal email announcing Iger’s return to the top of the group came as such a surprise to employees that some initially thought it was a fake message from a hacked account. In fact, Chapek’s contract was only extended until the end of 2024 in the summer. In addition, Iger has said several times that he is not interested in a job at Disney.
Business flow is increasing but it is not making money
Iger, 71, is taking the lead again at a difficult moment for Disney. The group has to take into account the reduced willingness of consumers to spend in times of high inflation. At the same time, cable TV revenues are declining in the United States.
A particular problem is the streaming business. It’s growing rapidly with services like Disney+, but it’s in the red. Last quarter alone, it generated an operating loss of $1.47 billion. The reason for this is the high cost of well-produced films and series that have not yet been brought in from subscription revenue.
Theme parks, which are thriving after the outbreak of the pandemic, are making up for the losses. However, Disney missed stock market expectations. With the most recent quarterly earnings of $162 million, the stock has continued to fall. In early November, outgoing CEO Chapek announced austerity measures, including a hiring freeze and job cuts.
Tensions between the two pop
Bob Iger is the architect of the Disney set today. During his time, the entertainment giant bought the animation studio Pixar, the companies behind the lucrative “Star Wars” series and the “Marvel” movies, and the Hollywood studio 21st Century Fox. He got Disney into the broadcasting business near the end of his tenure.
Former Parks official Bob Chapek took over in 2020 as the preferred successor to Iger. According to media reports, there has been a disagreement recently. The CNBC commercial reported that the tensions began early on when Iger promised to support Chapek in overcoming the coronavirus pandemic in an interview. This made him feel cared for.
Too much inner resentment
Another point of tension was the restructuring of the company, which was carried out by Shabek. By centralizing budget responsibility, Disney was able to make decisions more quickly. However, individual department heads have lost a lot of spending freedom.
Chapek was also reluctant to deal with a Florida law that bans topics such as sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools through the third grade. Only after employee protests did he react and announce that he would stop making political donations. Then state lawmakers stripped Disney of a special status that gave the company sweeping control over its theme parks. For his part, Egger criticized the law early on because it could harm children.