UPDATE November 24 - There surely can't be a Disney fan anywhere that hasn't now heard that Bob Chapek was fired as The Walt Disney Company CEO on Sunday and former CEO Bob Iger has been rehired. Iger appears to not be wasting anytime in making changes and has already announced that a restructuring will begin in just a few short weeks. He has also said that he is putting storytelling back at the heart of the company.
We can safely say that the vast majority of Disney fans appear to be thrilled with this decision to fire Bob Chapek and rehire Bob Iger. In our recent poll the results clearly show this with 95% of people voting yes to the question, Has Disney made the right decision to rehire Bob Iger? The problem for Iger and Disney now is that guests are expecting big changes to be made for the better so there is certainly a lot of expectation to live up to. We hope that Disney and Iger won't disappoint and we will be able to see positive steps forward it restoring that Disney magic which so many have felt has been lost in recent months.
November 21 - Disney fans waking up this morning having not heard the news that Bob Chapek has been fired as CEO of The Walt Disney Company were certainly in for a shock. It was confirmed in a statement last night that Bob Iger will take the reins once again, effective immediately, as CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
The full statement can be seen below:
“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 CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney’s 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. Mr. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who has stepped down from his position.
‘We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,’ said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. ‘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.’
‘Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior 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 worldwide–all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership,’ she said.
The position of Chairman of the Board remains unchanged, with Ms. Arnold serving in that capacity.
‘I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,’ Mr. Iger said. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most 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 again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, 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 admired media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth. He expanded on Disney’s legacy of unparalleled storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox and 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 last December, and the Company’s robust pipeline of content is a testament to his leadership and vision.”
We assume this firing has come about due to the recent release of the figures for Q4 and for the majority of Disney fans this will come as very welcome news. We hope that Iger can bring about some long-awaited changes although some fans will undoubtedly be sceptical.
The Walt Disney Company Stock price certainly had a boost this morning as it opened at 100.12 which was a massive 8.5% increase to where it closed on Friday.
Although Disney fans are going to want to see change fast, we guess we will have to be patient and wait and see the actual positive steps that will come out of this change in CEO over the coming weeks and months.