In a bombshell report recently released by the Wall Street Journal, newly reappointed Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger had been working with Disney executives for a while to oust former Disney CEO Bob Chapek to return to the company.
During his three-year tenure as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Chapek had begun to completely lose the confidence of Disney Cast Members, fans, investors, and, lastly, Disney’s board of directors.
According to an article just published, one of Bob Chapeks biggest enemies and critics was his predecessor Bob Iger.
Things at Disney started to turn for the worse during the company’s most recent earnings call. During the almost hour-long analyst call, Chapek brushed over the fact that Disney had just lost $1.47 billion within Disney’s streaming division. Instead, Chapek focused on wins such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, one of Walt Disney World’s live attractions. It seemed that Chapek was either clueless about what investors were focused on or didn’t have a proper strategy for the company.
Following the earnings debacle, this is where things for Disney and Bob Chapek started to roll downhill. On the day following, shares of Disney dropped a staggering 13.2%, one of the worst days in the company’s history since going public. Nelson Peltz, the second activist investor to challenge Disney this year, had begun to gobble up shares. And even CNBC’s Jim Cramer, known to be pretty friendly to public company CEOs, called for the firing of Bob Chapek.
Nelson Peltz and Jim Cramer were not the only ones to feel this way. As Disney’s stock began to plummet, Disney executives also grew frustrated.
The frustration grew so large with the Disney c-suite that it forced Disney CFO Christine McCarthy to take matters into her own hands.
Without having confronted her boss or seeking board approval, she called Disney’s former CEO, Bob Iger, to see if he was interested in returning as CEO. Based on the reports, she had caught Iger at one of his lowest points in years—he had been telling family and close friends that he was more concerned over Disney’s direction than ever.
As things began to boil over, this is when everyone started to learn how much to the extent that Iger couldn’t let go. It was reported that things got so contentious that Iger began to tell his closest allies that Chapek was doing a terrible job as CEO and that he was just incompetent.
In response to the bickering between the two, Chapek had told his friends that Iger’s attitude seemed to be: “They work for me, not for you.”
Confrontations between the board members and Chapek had started to become frequent. The culmination of all of this was a quick change at the top that led to Chapek’s dismissal and Iger’s return.
In Bob Iger’s return, this time, he inherits many issues. Some of these include empty rooms at theme-park hotels, the prolonged closure of Shanghai Disney and movie theaters in China, and Wall Street demands to see profits in the streaming division. On top of that, Mr. Iger has told the board he has another focus—finding a successor again.
It will be interesting to see if Iger can be successful in his second go-around as The Walt Disney Company CEO. Only time will tell.
Are you shocked to hear about the extent of how bad the relationship between Bob Chapek and Bob Iger got? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.