Disney recalls iconic boss Bob Iger to helm The Enchanted Kingdom

published on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 07:35

Bob Iger is back: Disney’s board has asked him to take over the CEO job he left Bob Chapek in 2020, after 15 years in the role, to reinvigorate the company. ‘company.

Mr. Iger, 71, has agreed to return to lead the Enchanted Kingdom for two years with the objective of establishing a strategy for “renewed growth”, Disney said in a statement.

He will also aim to work with the board of directors to find a successor.

“The board felt that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this pivotal time,” said the board chair. of Directors, Susan Arnold, in the press release.

A champion of Disney’s family and polished image, Bob Iger led the company from 2005 to 2020 and remained executive chairman of the group’s board of directors until the end of 2021. He “has the deep respect of the management team from Disney,” Arnold said.

The company, founded in 1923, did not detail the reasons for Bob Chapek’s departure, indicating only that he had left his position.

A Disney veteran, he took office in early 2020, just at the start of the pandemic.

He then had to manage the closing, then the reopening, of amusement parks, but also the expansion of streaming.

The results of this activity, which faces fierce competition between Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or HBO Max, have recently come out mixed.

– Streaming in difficulty –

Disney+ again gained many subscribers in the third quarter and had more than 164 million at the end of September.

But the Californian group’s video-on-demand platforms (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) recorded an operating loss of nearly $1.5 billion.

And if its “amusement parks, experiences and derivative products” branch generated record sales over the period, the company’s total turnover had disappointed the market.

The action of Disney lost more than 13% the day after the announcement of these results, at the beginning of November. It is down more than 40% compared to the start of the year.

The mandate of Mr. Chapek was also marked by a complicated episode in Florida where the company had, at the beginning of the year, initially decided not to speak out against a law prohibiting the teaching of subjects related to orientation. sexual or gender identity in elementary school.

Pushed by employees, Mr. Chapek, finally openly criticized the text, arousing the ire of conservative Governor Ron DeSantis and leading to the removal of a favorable administrative status which the Disney World theme park had enjoyed since the 1960s in this state.

Under the leadership of Bob Iger, Disney had become an entertainment empire, between the acquisitions of the animation studio Pixar in 2006 (“Finding Nemo”, “Toy Story”), of Marvel in 2009 (“X-Men” , “Spider-Man” and the entire “Avengers” series), Lucasfilm in 2012 (“Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones”) or most of the assets of the former 21st Century Fox group in 2019. The launch of Disney+ was one of its latest feats.

Under his tenure, Disney’s market capitalization had quintupled.

“I am very optimistic about the future of this great company and delighted that the Board of Directors has asked me to return as Chief Executive Officer,” Bob Iger said in the statement.

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