Bob Iger returns as CEO of Disney effective immediately

Bob Iger returns as CEO of Disney effective immediately

Bob Iger is back.

Disney reappointed Iger as CEO Sunday night, effective immediately, after previous CEO Bob Chapek came under fire for his management of the entertainment giant. Capek was named CEO in February 2020, succeeding Iger, who previously said he would not return to the role.

Disney shares are down about 41% so far this year as of Friday’s close. The stock hit a 52-week low on Nov. 9.

Iger signed on as CEO for two years, Disney said Sunday, “with a mandate from the board to set a strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the board in developing a successor to lead the company after his term ends.”

The company announced that Chapek had resigned. “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney throughout his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Disney’s chairman of the board. She will remain in that role.

The dramatic turnaround comes 11 months after Iger left the company and days after Chapek said he planned cost reduction in the company, which has been plagued by rising costs at its Disney+ streaming service. The company’s earnings released earlier this month largely did not meet Wall Street’s expectations. Even its theme parks business, which reported a rise in revenue, fell short of what analysts had predicted.

Čapek, whose contract is as executive director was extended earlier this year, planned a hiring freeze, cost cuts and layoffs across the company, according to a memo obtained by CNBC 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, favored Chapek as his successor. The the two ended up arguingand the shadow of their conflict cast a shadow over the company’s future.

Iger is a widely respected and beloved personality at Disney. He oversaw its acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm and its Star Wars franchise, and Marvel — all of which became multibillion-dollar intellectual property giants.

Capek, meanwhile, angered employees with his initial silence on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, home to the Walt Disney World resort. Then he took a beating from Republican politicians, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for opposing him. He also got heat for his own resolving the Scarlett Johansson salary controversy for her work in Marvel’s Black Widow.

Read the entire Disney edition here:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today that Robert A. Iger is returning to lead Disney as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Iger, who spent more than four decades at the company, including 15 years as its chief executive, agreed to serve as Disney’s chief executive for two years, with the board’s mandate to set strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the developing board. the successor who will lead the company at the end of his mandate. Mr. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has retired from his position.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney throughout his long career, including navigating the company through the challenges of an unprecedented pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, board chair. “The board has concluded that, as Disney enters an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this critical period.”

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

The position of Board Chair remains unchanged, with Ms. Arnold serving in that capacity.

“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and am delighted that the Board has asked me to return as CEO,” said Mr. Iger. “Disney and its unparalleled brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of many people around the world – especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. 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 unparalleled, bold 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 respected media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth.” Disney’s legacy of unparalleled storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox has increased the company’s market capitalization fivefold during his time as CEO. Mr. Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative endeavors until his departure as executive chairman and president last December. The company’s robust content is a testament to his leadership and vision.”

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