Bob Iger, widely regarded as one of the most successful CEOs in the history of The Walt Disney Company, is returning to his post less than a year after leaving the company. Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors made the decision to replace Chief Executive Bob Chapek on Sunday night.
“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,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s board, in a statement.
Disney’s board reached out to Iger on Friday after senior Disney leadership raised concerns about Chapek’s management of the company. The surprising change comes at a pivotal time for Disney as the company reported underwhelming financial results this month. This softened the momentum built over a year that saw record revenue and profits. Most notably, Disney’s theme-park business’ impressive recovery since the coronavirus pandemic. However, the company has relied on this division to subsidize widening losses in the streaming business.
In his first tenure as CEO, Bob Iger led Disney in acquiring Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm in his fifteen years. According to Disney, Iger agreed to serve as CEO for two years with “a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.” Investors appear excited about Iger’s return, as Disney stock jumped 9% following the announcement.
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