Bob Iger returns as CEO of Disney effective immediately

Bob Iger is back.

Disneyin a shocking late Sunday announcement, he said that Iger has been reappointed as CEO, effective immediately, after the previous CEO Bob Chapek. came under fire for the management of the entertainment giant.

“It is with great gratitude and humility — and, I must admit, a bit of awe — that I write to you tonight with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer,” Iger wrote. to employees in an email, which was obtained by CNBC.

Chapek was named chief executive in February 2020, replacing Iger, who previously said he would not return to the role.

Disney shares have fallen about 41% so far this year, as of Friday’s close. The stock hit a 52-week low on Nov. 9.

Iger has signed on to serve as CEO for two years, Disney said Sunday, “with a mandate from the Board to set strategic direction for new growth and work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the end of his term.”

The company said Chapek resigned. “We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s board. He will remain in that role.

The dramatic upheaval comes 11 months after Iger left Disney, and days after Chapek spoke out plan to cut costs in the company, which had been burdened with inflated costs in its streaming service, Disney +. The company’s earnings were released earlier this month Wall Street expectations underperformed. Even its theme park business, which reported an increase in revenue, fell below what analysts had predicted.

Chapek, the contract as CEO extended earlier this year, plans to freeze hiring, cut costs and layoffs across the company, according to a CNBC memo obtained earlier this month. The internal memo comes days after the company’s poor quarterly earnings report.

Iger, who held the role of CEO for 15 years at Disney, has favored Chapek as his successor. The two eventually had to fall out, and the shadow of their conflict cast a shadow over the company’s future. Tired away from Iger with several decisions, including its new approach to streaming pricing for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.

Iger is a widely respected and liked figure at Disney. He oversees his bids to acquire Pixar, Lucasfilm and the “Star Wars” and Marvel properties – all of which have become multi-billion-dollar intellectual property behemoths.

Chapek, meanwhile, angered employees with the initial silence about the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, where the company’s Walt Disney World resort is located. Then, he received blowback from Republican politicians, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to oppose it. She’s also getting heat for him handling the controversy over Scarlett Johansson’s salary for his work on the Marvel movie “Black Widow”.

Read Iger’s email to Disney employees here:

Dear Staff and Cast Members,

It is with great gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of awe—that I write to you tonight with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer.

As I look at the creative success of our teams at our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and more. other achievements throughout our business, I am amazed by your achievements and I am excited to embark with you in many new endeavors.

I know this company has asked a lot of you over the last three years, and these times must still be a bit challenging, but as you’ve heard me say before, I’m optimistic, and if I’ve learned one thing from my years at Disney , is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our staff and Cast Members achieve the impossible.

You will hear more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, allow me to express my deepest gratitude for all that you have done. Disney has a special place in the hearts of people around the world thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to entertain people through great stories is an inspiration to me every day.

Bob Iger

Read Disney’s full announcement Here you go:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today that Robert A. Iger is returning to lead Disney as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Iger, who spent more than four decades in the Company, including 15 years as its CEO, has agreed to serve as CEO of Disney for two years, with a mandate from the Board to set a strategic direction for renewed growth and work closely. and the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company in completing its position. Mr. Iger replaces Bob Chapek, who has resigned from his position.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an era of increasingly complex industrial transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period.”

“Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees around the world – all of whom will allow for a seamless transition. leadership,” he said.

The position of Chairman of the Board remains unchanged, and Ms. Arnold serves in that capacity.

“I am very optimistic for the future of this great company and am excited to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” said Iger. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of many people around the world—especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I was once again asked to lead this extraordinary team, with a mission that clear focus on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.

During his 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger helped build Disney into one of the most successful and admired media and entertainment companies in the world with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth. Disney’s unparalleled acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox and increased the Company’s market capitalization fivefold during his tenure as CEO. Mr. Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative efforts until his departure as Executive Chairman last December, with a strong content pipeline the company is a testament to his leadership and vision.

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