November 20 was certainly a shocking day to be a Disney fan. In a stunning turn of late-night events, it was reported that Bob Chapek was OUT as CEO of The Walt Disney Company and former CEO Bob Iger would be taking over once again, effective immediately.
Dear Fellow Employees and Cast Members,
It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement—that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer.
When I look at the creative success of our teams across our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors.
I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.
You will be hearing more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, allow me to express my deep gratitude for all that you do. Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people around the globe thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every single day.
The news of Iger’s return will most likely be welcomed by many Disney fans who never got used to Bob Chapek and the changes he made. Fans turned against Chapek, as he constantly seemed to focus more on profit and less on Guests and that special “Disney magic.”
Guests were vocal during Chapek’s entire tenure, voicing their dissatisfaction with the theme park reservation system, Disney Genie+, cost of admission, rising costs of food, shrinking portion sizes, and more.
While the immediate future is uncertain, it will certainly be interesting to see how Iger tries to bring the company back to its former glory.