Bob Iger has been appointed CEO of Disney again, replacing Bob Chapek and shocking Hollywood

Bob Iger has been appointed CEO of Disney again, replacing Bob Chapek and shocking Hollywood

New york
CNN Business

Bob Igerone of the most successful CEOs in history The Walt Disney Company, once again returns to rule the media empire. It’s a shocking event at Hollywood’s biggest company.

Bob Chapek, who replaced Iger as CEO in 2020, will step down immediately.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his long career at Disney, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” Susan Arnold, Disney’s chairman, said in a statement late Sunday. “As Disney embarks on a critical period of industrial transformation, the board concluded, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this critical period.”

Investors cheered the news, sending Disney shares up 9% in after-hours trading on Monday lost about 36% of its value this year.

The announcement comes as a surprise to the media industry, but comes at a time of major evolution for Disney. The company is leaving less income statement it marked the growth of his streaming endeavors. However, this came at a great cost. Disney’s streaming business is gone $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. The report sent Disney shares tumbling after a year of sluggish and poor performance.

Chapek guided Disney through the pandemic, one of the most tumultuous periods in the company’s nearly 100-year history, but ultimately Disney decided its future rested in Iger’s hands.

Away from the pandemic, Capek had a short but difficult stint as the head of Disney. Chapek, who served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products before taking over Iger, has gone into business himself. With Scarlett Johansson’s salary issuesone of the company’s biggest stars, as well as Disney’s battle with Florida and its employees controversial state bill limiting certain LGBTQ topics in the classroom.

This, in particular, was the bright spot of Chapek’s work at Disney. It happened in March He had to apologize for his silence He initially declined to comment on Florida’s controversial bill.

“Talking to you, reading your messages, and meeting you has helped me understand how painful our silence is,” Čapek wrote in a letter to employees.

Chapek has been doing damage control for weeks, telling employees that Disney is “increasing our support for advocacy groups to fight similar legislation in other states” and that the company is “working hard to build a new framework for our political advocacy efforts to ensure that we improve our advocacy.” reflects our values.”

His public stance was in stark contrast to Iger, who took a public stance against the Florida bill.

“Most of these issues are not necessarily political,” Iger said CNN hosts Chris Wallace in March. “It’s about right and wrong. So, I felt and tweeted about Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. For me, it wasn’t about politics. It’s about what’s right and what’s wrong, and it just didn’t seem right. It seemed potentially harmful to children.”

‘It’s about right and wrong’: On why the former Disney CEO spoke out about the bill

Iger has an almost mythical status as the leader of Disney

. He served as CEO for 15 years and was instrumental in acquiring major brands such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, home of Star Wars. Iger also closed a $71 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox and started the streaming revolution at Disney.

with The creation of Disney

(DIS)+ in November 2019.

He stayed on as executive director to lead the company’s creative efforts, then officially left the company late last year after nearly 50 years.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Robert Iger attends Stella McCartney

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Disney said Sunday that Iger has “agreed to serve as CEO for two years under the board’s mandate to set a new strategic direction for growth and work closely with the board to develop a successor to lead the company after his term ends.” .”

This move has been surprising since Čapek renewed the contract. The company’s board of directors voted unanimously to extend Chapek’s contract as CEO for another three years, the company announced in June. Chapek’s new contract starts in July and runs until 2025.

Also, Iger appears to be retiring with his legacy as one of Disney’s most prominent and successful CEOs. Now, he’s back.

“I am very optimistic about the future of this great company and I am very pleased that the board has asked him to return as CEO,” Iger said in a statement Sunday. “Disney and its unparalleled brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of many people around the world, especially our employees, whose dedication to the company and its mission is inspiring.”

Iger added that he is “greatly honored to be asked to lead this incredible team again,” whose clear mission is to focus on creative excellence that inspires generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling.

— CNN’s Jordan Walinsky contributed to this report.

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