Entertainment Post

Ex-Disney Boss Bob Iger Comes Back to Post, Replacing Chapek

Former Disney executive Bob Iger is making a surprise comeback at the entertainment giant. His return came less than a year after his retirement.

The company brought him back to face a difficult time. Recently, the stock price has crashed and Disney+ is getting close to a loss. Iger takes over the wheels from Bob Chapek, who set up the company in February 2020.

For 15 years, Iger was at the helm of this giant. In an interview with The New York Times in January, he said it was “ridiculous” to urge him to return.

“I was CEO for a long time,” he stated. “You can’t go home again. I’m gone.” 

By 2021, Iger was chairman of the company. And he took over for two years, during which time he was looking for Disney’s replacement.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Iger stated. 

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Good Tenure

During his tenure as CEO, Iger built Disney into a capable company. He led the launch of Disney’s streaming platform – Disney+. Additionally, he has completed huge acquisitions such as Pixar, Marvel, 21st Century Fox, and Lucasfilm – Star Wars.

In addition to that, he launched amusement park openings. These decisions aided the giant’s market value to rise five-fold during his time. 

In a statement, the head of the company’s board, Susan Arnold, said Iger was “uniquely situated” to help Disney through “an increasingly complex period of industry transformation.” 

However, Disney shares dropped over 40%, and the giant spilled billions of dollars into Disney+. 

Iger then quickly took over from Chapek. Notably, Chapek’s tenure as CEO has seen theme park closures stemming from the COVID pandemic.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Arnold said. 

Iger is Disney

Disney’s call for Iger’s return comes just weeks after the company announced that Disney+ lost about $1.5 billion in three months. Currently, Disney possesses over 235 million subscriptions throughout its three streaming services. It includes ESPN+ and Hulu. 

On the bright side, it has surpassed Netflix, which boasts 223 million subscribers.

Furthermore, Chapek underwent controversy over his reply to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

In March, he expressed his apologies for his “painful silence” on the sex education bill. Critics said it would separate LGBT youth and spotted him blasted by workers. 

After Chapek’s statement, Florida lawmakers approved a bill to take away Disney’s special tax status in the state. Notably, the state allowed the giant to control the region in Orlando, where its theme parks are situated. 

To cap it off, Chapek participated in a public war with movie actress Scarlett Johansson. They argued about the release of the Black Widow movie and Disney’s move to drop the superhero film on its streaming platform while it was still in theaters. 

Ultimately, they agreed. They didn’t reveal any further details, though. 

After the announcement of Iger’s return, Disney shares concluded over 6% higher on Monday. 

“Bob Iger is someone who’s synonymous with Disney. He oversaw some of the most successful acquisitions in the company’s history with Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm. So I think there’s a fair among of confidence in Bob in his vision for the industry,” Walter Todd said.

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Photo: The Nation

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