Bob Iger Defends Bob Chapek, Reveals MAJOR Succession News

Bob Iger
Credit: Disney

In 2005, Bob Iger became the CEO after the embattled CEO at the time, Michael Eisner, resigned. For the next 15 years, Iger catapulted Disney to the forefront of both theme parks and entertainment. He was responsible for some of Disney’s most successful purchases, including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. According to Disney, Lucasfilm has generated more than $12 billion in value for the company, while Marvel and Pixar have both generated more than $14 billion in value.

toys in toy story

Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

In February 2020, Bob Iger stepped down after a long and successful career, and former Disney Parks Chairman, Bob Chapek, took the CEO reins.

Unfortunately for Chapek, his short time in charge of Disney was not nearly as good as Iger’s time there. Chapek never managed to get Disney fans on his side, mainly because they saw him as the CEO who increased prices while decreasing quality. He also struggled with cast member approval, especially after he said that Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” Bill was “irrelevant” to the company.

Bob iger villain Walt disney company ceo chief executive officer bob Chapek disney villain Robert iger Robert a iger chairman

Credit: Disney

Related: Fired Disney CEO Bob Chapek Rips Bob Iger’s Plans For Company

While Iger never directly spoke about his disappointment with Bob Chapek, it was reported that he called appointing Mr. Chapek one of his “worst business decisions.” Chapek was fired after less than three years, and Iger — who had been serving as Disney’s Executive Chairman –returned as CEO. While Mr. Iger has remained relatively silent on the time Mr. Chapek was in charge, he has made several comments, including saying that Disney “lost focus” on the movies and television shows it created.

However, it now looks like he might not be as disappointed in Chapek as previously thought.

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

During a recent interview with CNBC’s David Faber, Iger said that even though Disney struggled under Chapek, the former CEO had to deal with things that no other CEO had to in the history of the company:

“Well, look, the transition the last time around – could not have happened at a worst moment for the company and in the world. Covid hit soon after Bob Chapek was named CEO. I think one of the things that I don’t think has been as understood as it should have been over these last few years is what happened to this company during that period of time. Probably suffered more than most companies in the world, given the fact that people were not going to the movies. People were not going to theme parks. Initially live sports were not occurring. And just as important production wasn’t going on. There were no movies or television shows being produced. This company was hit very, very hard. And it handed my successor a set of challenges that were enormous in nature, and hopefully that will not be the case the next time around. I don’t think that the – there’s much more I can add in terms of the process itself or the transition. Obviously, you know, we all have learned from the past and we’re eager for this process to be successful not just in the choice of my successor but ultimately how that person takes over.”

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

Bob Iger is set to remain CEO of Disney through the end of 2026. The contract was originally supposed to run through 2024, but in 2023, Disney’s Board of Directors extended it another two years. Since his return, Iger and the board have been intensely focused on finding his successor and ensuring that they do not have another Chapek repeat.

However, during this same interview, Iger would not say whether or not he was going to stay through the end of his contract. He also would not say whether he would agree to another contract extension.

“Not determined. But I think it’s really important to have a good transition process. You know, this is a big complicated company. And not only is it important to choose the right person, but it’s really important to give that person all the opportunity in the world to be successful in the job. And the board is very focused on who the person is, when the decision should be made, and essentially how the handover of sorts will take place.”

Iger has remained tight-lipped about who the company is considering as his successor. The names that continuously come up are Alan Bergman, the Co-Chair of Disney Entertainment, Josh D’Amaro, the Chairman of Disney Parks, and Dana Walden, the other Co-Chair of Disney Entertainment.

Despite his immense success and popularity during his first run as CEO, Iger has been struggling since he came back. Most recently, he fought against billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz, who was determined to gain control of Disney’s Board of Directors. Thankfully, Disney shareholders backed Iger, and he defeated Peltz.

activist investor nelson peltz walt disney company

Credit: YouTube – Bloomberg Wealth

Related: The Danger of Disney’s Hostile Billionaire, Nelson Peltz

Since his return, and until his time at Disney comes to an end, Iger will be focusing on what Disney has always done — entertain people. The company is honing in on creating successful films, being more critical of Disney+ content, and investing billions of dollars into its theme parks.

Do you think Bob Chapek was put in an impossible situation? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. A difficult situation but not impossible. Chapek made decisions that ultimately ended his tenure. Those decisions included becoming political and woke instead of digging a foxhole and fighting for the financial well being of a company under duress. He made his decisions from his ivory tower instead of ‘reading the room’ of his true customer base. When you lack the true understanding of who it is that buys your products and puts ‘food on your table’ , it eventually reveals itself in lack of sales, stock price and valuation then eventually you get shown the door

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