Bob Iger Is Getting Compared to Elon Musk As He Returns to Disney

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Elon Musk Saturday Night Live SNL NBC

Credit: NBC

Everyone probably knows by now that Bob Chapek has officially stepped down from his (now prior) role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company, as former Disney CEO Bob Iger takes up the mantle once again.

Now, returning executive Robert Iger is being compared to another contentious CEO who has recently been in the media spotlight.

Iger interviewed by ABC
Credit: ABC News

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The Walt Disney Company has undergone many changes over the years, ever since Walt Disney pioneered the first-ever full-length animated feature film, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) revolutionized the industry with its ground-breaking animation and gave the then-struggling company its legs for years to come.

After the Disney family stepped away from the company, and Michael Eisner took over during the Disney Renaissance, The Walt Disney Company needed to bounce back after Eisner’s departure. When Iger entered the scene however, The Walt Disney Company embarked on another psuedo-Golden Age, with the acquisition of Marvel Studios and their Marvel Cinematic Universe, the expansion of the Lucasfilm and Star Wars franchises, 21st Century Fox (now 20th Century Sas well as James Cameron’s Avatar franchise (and subsequent Pandora-themed land in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom), based on Avatar (2009) and the subsequent sequels, including upcoming Avatar: The Way of Water (2022).

Bob Iger
Credit: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro/ Shutterstock

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The change in leadership has been met with a fair amount of celebration from Disney fans, who have largely praised The Walt Disney Co.’s decision to bring leadership back to Bob Iger from previous Disney CEO Bob Chapek. This seemingly sudden switch up in leadership has led to comparisons to similar company shake-ups — namely Elon Musk’s acquisition of social media giant, Twitter.

Musk has experienced an onslaught of criticism at this point, with many disparaging his handling of the Twitter platform amid reports of more than 80% of Twitter’s staff getting laid off, as well as increasingly confusing (and often, conflicting) company-wide emails and demands for staff to overwork. Not to mention the Tesla CEO’s stubborn implementation of a paid verification service, Twitter Blue, that arguably backfired on the company in rather spectacular fashion.

(l-r) gwyneth paltrow as pepper potts, robert downey jr as tony stark, and elon musk as himself in iron man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, in a tweet responding to this change, George Hahn makes a timely comparison between the two new(-ish) CEOs:

And a note to wannabe ballers: Bob Iger is the CEO to emulate, not Elon Musk.

Here, Hahn refers to “wannabe ballers” — an implied jab at those who seem to idolize billionaire Elon Musk and his approach to leadership.

Twitter user @JackVK responds to this, also bringing up another successful CEO — Apple’s Tim Cook — into the picture:

Bob Iger and Tim Cook, two actually successful CEOs that do right by their companies, customers, and shareholders.

The comparisons to Elon Musk don’t end there, however.

Paris Martineau turns Bob Iger’s return into something humorous:

bob iger just sent a company wide email telling all disney employees they have till 5pm tomorrow to decide if theyre ready to go ‘mad for the mouse’ or take severance

This is a direct reference to the abovementioned company emails that Musk sent to Twitter employees, insisting (among other things) on a company-wide “hardcore” approach to work — or severance pay.

This is referenced once again by another comment by comedian Judd Apatow:

They better be hard core!
Funny how Bob Iger returning just illuminates how lame Elon Musk is in all respects.

It is abundantly clear that many find the return of Bob Iger a step in the right direction for the Mouse House, with Iger maintaining a significantly more positive public opinion in 2022 than when he left back in 2020. The comparison to someone like Musk — who’s garnered an almost universally negative impression as of late — has actually had the effect of further endearing Iger to many. This is especially true for those concerned with the Walt Disney Parks, who worry over the state of Disney World — including many a Disney fan.

Unlike Chapek and Musk — older, and more provably reliable approaches to leadership, seem to be overwhelmingly favored right now.

What do you think of the comparison of Bob Iger to Elon Musk? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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