Bob Iger returns as Disney CEO effective immediately

Bob Iger is back.

disney reappointed Iger as CEO on Sunday night, effective immediately, after former CEO Bob Chapek came under fire for his stewardship of the entertainment giant. Chapek was named chief executive in February 2020, succeeding Iger, who previously said he would not return to the role.

Shares of Disney have fallen about 41% so far this year, as of Friday’s close. The stock hit a 52-week low on November 9.

Iger signed on to work as CEO for two years, Disney said on Sunday, “with a mandate from the board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the board. to develop a successor to lead the company at the end of his tenure.”

The company said Chapek had resigned. “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors. from Disney. She will remain in this role.

The dramatic upheaval comes 11 months after Iger left the company and days after Chapek said he planned to cut costs at the company, which had been burdened by rising costs for its service streaming, Disney+. The company’s earnings release earlier this month significantly underperformed Wall Street expectations. Even its theme parks business, which reported an increase in revenue, fell below what analysts had expected.

Chapek, whose contract as CEO was extended earlier this year, included a hiring freeze, cost cuts and layoffs companywide, according to a CNBC memo obtained earlier this month. The internal memo came days after the company’s poor quarterly earnings report.

Iger, who served as CEO for 15 years at Disney, had preferred Chapek as his successor. The two eventually fell out, and the shadow of their conflict cast a shadow over the company’s future.

Iger is a highly respected and beloved figure at Disney. He oversaw its deals to acquire Pixar, Lucasfilm and its “Star Wars” properties, and Marvel – all of which became multibillion-dollar intellectual property giants.

Chapek, meanwhile, angered employees with his initial silence on the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, where the company’s Walt Disney World resort is located. Then he received criticism from Republican politicians, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for opposing it. He also received heat for his handling of the Scarlett Johansson salary controversy for his work in the Marvel movie “Black Widow.”

Read the full Disney version here:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced that Robert A. Iger will return to lead Disney as CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Iger, who has spent more than four decades with the company, including 15 years as CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years, with a mandate from the board of directors to set strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board of Directors to find a successor to lead the company at the end of his term. Mr. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has resigned.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors. . “The Board of Directors has concluded that as Disney enters an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this pivotal time.”

“Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees around the world, which will allow for a seamless leadership transition,” she said.

The position of Chairman of the Board remains unchanged, with Ms. Arnold occupying this position.

“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and delighted that the board has asked me to return as CEO,” Mr. Iger said. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the world, especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is inspiring. I am deeply honored to be asked to once again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through bold, unparalleled storytelling.

“During his 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies with a focused strategic vision. on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth. Disney’s storytelling legacy unparalleled with acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox and quintupled the company’s market capitalization during his tenure as CEO. Mr. Iger continued to lead Disney’s creative efforts until his departure as executive chairman last December, and the company’s strong content pipeline is a testament to his leadership and vision.”

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