This news was announced late last night. Following a turbulent two and a half years, Bob Chapek has stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.
Disney’s Board of Directors immediately reappointed Bob Iger, Disney’s much-loved and former CEO, to manage the company again for the next two years.
“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 said in a statement.
Arnold is the chairman of the board, for those who might not know.
The swift changing of CEO comes a little more than a week after Chapek announced that the company would undergo a series of “tough and uncomfortable decisions,” specifically layoffs, cost-cutting measures, and a hiring freeze.
The announcement of Chapek’s departure came after another disappointing and weak quarter in which the company lost billions in its direct-to-consumer streaming division.
Here’s a little overview about the outgoing Disney CEO:
Disney appointed Chapek as Iger’s hand-picked successor in February 2020, a month before the coronavirus global pandemic.
Chapek had been with Disney for nearly three decades before giving the top post in the company. He previously served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and the chairman of the Disney Parks and Resorts. Prior to that, he led the company’s consumer products and studio distribution departments.
Shortly after becoming CEO, Chapek had to steer the company through a global pandemic, one of the most unprecedented times in recent history.
He had to figure out ways to reopen Disney’s theme parks worldwide, resume movie and TV productions that were shut down by pandemic-related government orders and grow the company’s streaming services.
Chapel was often the target of anger among Disney fans who complained about rising theme park ticket prices and for not doing enough during Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay bill” and much more.
Despite the criticism and noise, Chapek’s contract was extended for another three years back in June. At the time, Arnold said he was able to weather the pandemic’s storm, and “emerged in a position of strength.”
A few months later, with the company losing money and poor quarterly earnings reports stacking up, Chapek is out. Wall Street top brass and fans had been calling for him to go.
Bob Iger returns from a brief retirement. Iger served as Disney’s CEO from 2005 to 2020 and is credited with acquiring Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and more.
It’s fair to say Iger takes over a company in limbo. The board hopes he can “right the ship again.”
“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,” Arnold said.
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