If you loved the cameos in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Bob Iger’s the man to thank. During his reign as CEO, Bob Iger helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful entertainment companies. He had a strategic vision focused on creative excellence and international growth. He was the one who expanded on Disney’s legacy with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox! Truly the visionary of his age.
After he was replaced by Bob Chapek in 2020, Iger remained as board chairman until late 2021. In a sudden turn of events, the hierarchy of power in the Disney Headquarters has indeed, changed.
Disney Replaces Bob Chapek As CEO
The Hollywood Reporter stated that Bob Chapek, has stepped down as Disney’s CEO after just three years of service. Former CEO Bob Iger will replace him as the new CEO, effective immediately. Iger had previously held the position for a whopping 15 years, from 2005 to 2020.
Bob Iger has agreed to serve as Disney’s Chief Executive Officer for the following two years and acknowledged his return with an email to Disney staff members yesterday. The full email, courtesy of The Ankler on Twitter, can be viewed below:
“Dear Fellow Employees and Cast Members,
It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility-and, I must admit, a bit of amazement-that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer.
When I look at the creative success of our teams across 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 so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors. I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty-perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty-our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.
You will be hearing more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, allow me to express my deep gratitude for all that you do. Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people around the globe thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every single day.
Why Was Bob Chapek Replaced?
Although there is no reason in particular as to why Bob Chapek stepped down, he has been responsible for several moves which led to bad publicity for The House of Mouse.It was Chapek who that led the company to release Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in theatres as well as on Disney+ Premiere Access, leading to a reported loss of $600M.
This went on to become the infamous ‘Black Widow’ lawsuit, which saw her suing Disney for a “breach of contract”. Disney called it “distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Another recent ounce of bad PR came from Florida’s “Don’t say gay” bill. While Bob Iger, Disney employees, and the fandom itself pressed on Chapek to release a statement against the act, Chapek remained silent on this crucial matter. This led to several staff members walking out of the multi-billion company. Actors for popular projects, including Oscar Isaac and Mark Hammill went ahead to speak out against the bill.
The most recent example would be when Bob Chapek said, “Our fans & audiences put their kids to bed at night after watching ‘Pinocchio’, ‘Dumbo’ or ‘Little Mermaid’, then they’re probably not going to tune into another animated movie, they want something for them.“, which received massive backlash from the audience.