Disney ditches CEO Bob Chapek and brings back Bob Iger, Hollywood’s most respected executive

Disney fired CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with Bob Iger, the most renowned executive in Hollywood. Iger faces a formidable challenge in reviving the Magic Kingdom.

Iger’s comeback coincides with Disney’s efforts to navigate a period of unpredictability in which investors have lost faith in some of the most illustrious names in US media as businesses lose money in the race to attract viewers to streaming platforms.

Iger was rehired by Disney’s board of directors for a two-year term, extending the 15 years of leadership he had over the firm up to 2020, when he turned over control to Chapek.

However, Disney’s stock price has fallen 40% this year and Chapek was abruptly let go after less than three years in the top position after spending a significant amount of time trying to replace Iger’s enormous shoes.

Even by the standards of Hollywood, Iger’s leadership was exceptional.

When he acquired the Star Wars and Marvel properties and introduced the Disney+ streaming service to directly compete with Netflix, the 71-year-old took Disney to new heights.

In order to protect his business, which included theme parks, local TV stations and cruise ships, he also acquired 21 Century Fox from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and hung onto sports network ESPN despite requests to sell it.

The return of Iger was cheered on by Wall Street with Disney’s share price surging by six per cent on Monday, and analysts recommending the stock for the first time since he exited the company.


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