Long before Disney CEO Bob Iger finally stepped down from his 15-year post as chief at The Walt Disney Company in February 2020, he had variations of plans to do so on four different occasions: in 2013, 2014, and twice in 2017. But every time the date for his planned departure would get close, Disney’s board would ask the veteran employee to stay just a little longer. Now he’s talking retirement plans again, but no one’s holding their breath.
On four separate occasions leading up to his February 2020 departure, Disney CEO Bob Iger postponed his retirement. There was always a reason (or several) that The Walt Disney Company’s board needed the seasoned CEO to stay on. So, on February 25, 2020, when Iger announced he would step down as Disney’s CEO, effective immediately, he sent shockwaves along Wall Street and throughout the Disney fan community. Could it be? Was he actually stepping down this time?
It certainly seemed so, as Iger announced he had hand-picked his own successor–then-President of Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products, Bob Chapek. According to Iger, Chapek would take over the daily duties of running things at Walt’s beloved company, and the change would take place immediately.
Not Really Gone
But even though Iger stepped down as CEO, he never really stepped away until December 2021. Iger stayed on as Executive Chairman at Disney, and Chapek would report to him, as he had when Iger was chief executive.
Less than two years later, however, on November 20, 2022, Disney announced Bob Chapek’s removal and Bob Iger’s return to the helm of the company, complete with a 24-month contract. Only days later, Iger continued cleaning house at Disney, firing those closest to Chapek, including his former chief of staff, Arthur Bochner, assistant Jackie Hart, and his right-hand man, Kareem Daniel.
In July 2023, Disney announced the extension of Iger’s contract from 2024 to 2026. When his current contract ends, Iger will be just months away from his 75th birthday. Perhaps that’s why he’s told those closest to him that he’s done at Disney in 2026.
The End for Iger? Seriously?
According to a lengthy post at CNBC, the idea of a Bob Iger retirement isn’t too far off. Iger is apparently growing weary, and it’s not that he’s opposed to hard work. Though he agreed to the extension of his contract from 2024 to 2026 earlier this year, the tenured CEO has apparently run his course.
“Iger does want to retire at the end of 2026, according to people familiar with his thinking,” says CNBC. states the story. Those closest to him shared that Iger feels he’s “worked harder in the past nine months than at any time in his career.”
For now, however, Iger’s eventual, permanent departure seems like the impossible dream–and perhaps the only thing at which the accomplished CEO is no good.