Bob Chapek has been CEO of The Walt Disney Company for just under two years, and those two years have been some of the toughest the company has faced. The company was forced to lay off and furlough tens of thousands of employees due to the pandemic, and some of them have still not been able to return. Disney+ has also not seen the massive growth they were hoping for — although numbers are still climbing — and one of Marvel’s biggest stars, Scarlett Johansson, who played Black Widow, sued the company for breach of contract.
With all that and more, Chapek has been dealing with increasing unpopularity amongst Disney fans and Guests around the world, with many calling his resignation or termination. Many are predicting that Chapek will not have the long and successful tenure that Iger did, including an anonymous media executive who spoke to CNBC recently.
CNBC asked ten media executives — on the condition of anonymity — about what they thought the biggest industry shakeups would be in 2022. Many answered with mergers and buyouts, but one executive focused their answer on The Walt Disney Company. The anonymous executive believes that 2022 will see Chapek out as Disney CEO and be replaced by none other than Bob Iger.
Executive No. 2: Bob Iger returns to Disney as CEO
It hasn’t even been two years since Bob Chapek took over as Disney’s CEO. But one executive told CNBC there are already internal wagers at Disney about Iger returning.
Iger, 70, repeatedly extended his contract after planning to retire in 2015, 2016 and 2018 before abruptly stepping down in 2020. He’s still Disney’s executive chairman until the end of the year.
It’s unclear if Iger wants to return. He’s already working on a second book, according to The Hollywood Reporter, after publishing one in 2019.
But Disney shares have stumbled this year, down nearly 20% year to date. Iger owns a lot of those shares. The board and Iger may get restless if Disney+ growth stagnates and the company continues to have turf tensions between executives.
This, of course, is all speculation, but this media executive seems to have internal knowledge of what is going on at Disney. Bob Iger was CEO of The Walt Disney Company for 20 years, and he was one of, if not the most popular CEO, to lead the House of Mouse. Fans across the world were devastated when Iger announced that he would be retiring and handing the reins over to Bob Chapek — who at that time, was Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products, a position currently held by Josh D’Amaro.
Disney has not made any indication that they plan to replace Bob Chapek, or that they are in talks with Iger for him to return. However, a new year brings new ideas and new possibilities.
Would you like to see Bob Iger return as CEO of The Walt Disney Company?