On November 20, Disney’s Board of Directors announced that CEO Bob Chapek had been fired and would immediately be replaced by former Disney CEO Bob Iger. The move was celebrated by many Disney fans, who felt that Chapek only cared about profits and was killing the Disney magic. Disney fans were not the only ones who were excited — Hollywood as a whole celebrated the move, as did Wall Street. The day after Iger’s return was announced, Disney’s stock shot up to more than $100 per share.
Unfortunately, all of those gains have since disappeared.
While Disney shares are still higher than it has been in recent months — dipping to its lowest of $86.75 on November 9 — it is clear that the post-Iger glow is no more. And analysts are saying that Iger will be struggling with the same thing that Chapek did — the money pit that is Disney+.
The Wrap spoke to analysts who have been examining Disney’s stock struggles.
“Disney is in the midst of a generational transition in how it produces and distributes media and these next few years are crucial,” Jason Moser, senior analyst at The Motley Fool, told TheWrap. “This development comes with plenty of questions as achieving streaming profitability is still a key concern. How will Iger get there? What will he do differently than Chapek?”
During his less than 3 years as CEO, Bob Chapek made a number of notable fumbles — like his response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and his public spat with Marvel star Scarlett Johansson — and bringing Iger back made Wall Street feel Disney’s good name would be back on the rise.
“The announcement of Bob Iger’s return to Disney inspired much excitement and interest,” noted Comscore Senior Analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “However, the proof will indeed be in the pudding. After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it honeymoon, it will be the choices, plans and execution over the long haul that will determine the perception of the company post-Chapek. If all goes well, cement his legacy as a one of the key and central figures in its storied history.”
Mr. Iger recently held a company-wide town hall, during which, he did a really good job of avoiding direct answers to questions posed by employees. So, while we don’t know exactly what steps Iger will take in the following two years, many are still looking forward to the positive changes they think he will make.