It was recently announced that former CEO Bob Iger would be stepping in as chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company as Bob Chapek steps down. While there is certainly much rejoicing amongst Disney’s fanbase at the former CEO’s departure, the damage he’s brought to the company’s name has already been done. Can Iger save the day?
The list of grievances against Bob Chapek is near-astronomical in the eyes of Disney’s fans. From jacking up prices of basic theme park tickets to the ever-controversial Genie+ and the statements regarding the studio’s animated classics and their viewers, Chapek has had a bounty on his head worthy of a visit from Boba Fett. Now that former CEO Bob Iger is stepping back into action, many longtime fans might be wondering whether or not his influence can save the Disney name.
In a recent statement regarding his return to the company, Iger stated,
“Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling…”
Those familiar with Iger’s work and contributions to the company during his 15-year tenure at Disney know that he is indeed capable of great things. Under Iger’s leadership, his dynasty was built on the acquisitions of brands like Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel, as well as the building of Shanghai Disney and the launch of the beloved Disney+. Where Chapek’s vision lied in the financial gains of the brand, Iger’s understanding of Disney’s message of storytelling and entertainment is what makes him such a valuable asset during this time of turmoil for the company.
At its core, Disney is a studio that sells fairytale endings and weaves tapestries of tales to entertain and enchant the multitudes. It’s been that way since Walt’s day, and it’s an aspect of the brand that Bob Chapek has sadly forgotten. The reason Walt Disney was such a success is that he understood and new how to play to his audience, something that Iger has clearly understood with his inclusion of new outlets and narratives. Hopefully, Iger’s love of storytelling will pull the company out of the muck and mire of Chapek’s swamp.
Despite his reputation and background, Iger does not have an easy two years ahead of him. The brand has lost a large quantity of favor from its very vocal fanbase, and all roads led back to Chapek. Fortunately, Iger does have the experience in making Disney a titan of the entertainment industry. While there are things in need of immediate repair, he’s certainly the man for the job. Needless to say, it’s not going to be an easy fix. However, Iger’s commitment to the goals set forth by Walt and his original team could be the boost the company and studio both need.
This is perhaps the biggest news to come out of Disney this year, and the ripple-effect this will have on every aspect of the company will be tremendously felt. Chapek might be out of the picture, but there is still a lot of work to be done before Disney is back in its fans’ good graces. All Disney fans and Park Guests can do is wait and watch what happens.
Do you think Iger can save Disney? Tell us in the comments below!