The past few months have not necessarily been kind to The Walt Disney Company and CEO Bob Chapek.
According to a new filing by Disney, the Disney Parks division of the company posted $7.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022 and a whopping $28.7 billion in total revenue for the fiscal year 2022, which ended on October 1, 2022. This new Q4 report indicates a 73% increase in total revenue compared to fiscal 2021. However, that’s not all there was to report.
Disney also reported a whopping $1.5 billion loss in streaming services, which include Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+.
These losses, coupled with the fact that Disney has been on the receiving end of a lot of controversy from fans over many decisions, including the implementation of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane, price increases, and a feeling that the company has “lost its magic” has many fans calling for Bob Chapek to be fired.
As a matter of fact, there have been multiple petitions signed by Disney fans that have reached signatures of more than 100,000 asking for the CEO to be canned.
Chapek recently announced that Disney was implementing a “targeted hiring freeze” and the expectation is that the company will announce a round of layoffs in the coming months.
Still, it seems that there may be a bit of a change in Bob Chapek’s attitude following all the shortcomings, especially in the last few months.
During the Wall Street Journal Live Tech conference, WSJ editor-in-chief Matt Murray asked Chapek about Disney’s future, especially in the context of what kinds of content Disney might include on its streaming services.
“I want to respect legacy, I want to respect what this brand is, but at the same time, I know that we may be even more precious about what’s Disney than the consumer base is and if the consumer base has more elasticity then we’ve traditionally had in terms of defining what’s Disney, then we probably ought listen to our audience,” Chapek answered.
Of course, this isn’t a complete and total shift, but it is at least a comment that might provide some hope for Disney fans hoping to see the company return to its “glory days.”
If Chapek is truly willing to “listen to our audience” in the streaming facet, then merchandise and Disney Parks could also end up falling into that category, as well.
What do you think of these comments from Bob Chapek and the future of The Walt Disney Company?