In a move that shocked Hollywood, Bob Iger, one of the most notable CEOs in the history of the Walt Disney company, is returning to run the media empire.
Bob Chapek, who replaced Iger in 2020 as CEO, is stepping down immediately.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board for Disney, said in a statement on Sunday night.
“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.”
The announcement, while deeply surprising to the media industry, comes at a time of great evolution for Disney. The company is coming off a lack-luster earnings report that showed growth for its streaming endeavors but at a great cost of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter.
That report sent Disney’s stock to tumble after a year of sluggish to bad performance.
Chapek guided the company through the pandemic, one of its most tumultuous periods in its nearly 100-year history, but ultimately Disney decided that its future was in better hands with Iger.
Iger has an almost mythical status as the leader of Disney. He spent 15 years as CEO and was instrumental in acquiring major brands like Marvel and Lucasfilm, the home to Star Wars. Iger also kicked off the streaming revolution at Disney with the creation of Disney+ in November 2019.
Disney said Sunday that Iger has agreed to serve as CEO for two years with “a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.”
Source: CCN news