Chapek’s Firing was a Complete Shock to Many Execs, Including Chapek Himself

Chapek fired
Credit: Daily news

The ousting of Bob Chapek is all anyone can talk about right now. Fans struggled to believe the news at first but later “broke the internet” with their posts on the topic. The news of the shakeup at the top broke late Sunday night which is notable because Chapek was supposed to be introducing Elton John at the time. 

Elton John’s farewell concert was live streamed on Disney last night, meanwhile, now former CEO Bob Chapek was being fired. According to the New York Post it’s unclear whether Chapek attended the concert but in the wake of his firing he did not appear on stage as planned.

Chapek fired

Credit: Reuters

The ousting seems to have been in the works, secretly, for at least a week but Chapek had no idea that he was at risk of being fired. This is unsurprising co sidelong outwardly Disney displayed full confidence in him. In June, when many expected his contract would not be renewed, he was offered a three year extension. At the time Disney’s Board of Directors Chair Susan Arnold said, “The strength of The Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future. In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the board.”

Susan Arnold

Susan Arnold
Credit: Disney

Those words didn’t last long because last night, just three months later Aronold said, “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. 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.”

In addition to Bob Chapek, many Disney executives were equally blind sided by the news. The initial announcement came in the form of an internal email  from former CEO Robert (Bob) Iger to all company employees informing them that he would be returning. The email was sent during the Elton John concert where many high level Disney execs were in attendance. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the news traveled quickly as the executives read the email from their phones while sitting at the concert. “The Disney employees said they were baffled by Mr. Iger’s Sunday email and immediately began asking if the message to employees was real or if it came from a hacked email account,” According to the Wall Street Journal report. 

Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

Disney wasted no time confirming the news. Iger appeared in the company leadership website a mere 30 minutes later. The news has shocked both the Walt Disney Company and the Disney community. Stock prices soared in the hours after the announcementStock prices soared in the hours after the announcement and have continued to climb as trading opened today on the stock market. So far, Chapek has declined to comment. Chapek has declined to comment. 



About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.