Campaign for Bob Iger to Step Down as CEO Gains Popularity

in Disney, Disney Parks

Bob Iger at the construction site for the new Frozen land

Credit: Disney

When he stepped down in 2020, The Walt Disney Company Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger stood as one of his generation’s most beloved and influential CEOs. After fifteen years, Iger hand-selected his replacement from within, former Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products, Bob Chapek.

Related: ‘Frozen’ Land at Hong Kong Disney Resort Opening In 2023

When Iger left, Disney Park fans saw Chapek’s previous role as a significant selling point. They hoped for higher quality experiences at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, and Disney Parks worldwide.

Bob Iger (left) and Bob Chapek (right) at 'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

The new Disney CEO pleased Disney fans at first. But after years of watching Disney’s falling share prices, pricey political conflict with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and the failure of a multi-million dollar Star Wars hotel, even Mr. Iger himself couldn’t ignore the media fiasco surrounding his protege. He returned as Disney CEO for another three years.

Bob Iger is Back

Despite normally attending company meetings, media interviews, and shareholder calls, Bob Chapek was removed from his position as Disney CEO on the evening of Sunday, November 20, 2022. The Walt Disney Company has remained mostly silent about the ousted executive, who continues making millions in severance from the company in silence.

Bob Iger interviewed by ABC
Credit: ABC News

Related: Disney World ‘Star Wars’ Hotel Closing Permanently

But Iger isn’t back for another fifteen years. The Disney CEO promised to complete his three-year term but said he would choose a replacement. Part of his new contract stipulates that he must select and train a replacement, who many will watch closely considering the impact of his last decision.

How has Disney CEO Bob Iger performed since his return? Here’s what real fans had to say.

Iger’s Positive Contributions

Cinderella Castle with a rainbow above it in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Marvel, and more have come a long way since Robert Iger replaced Micael Eisner in 2000. With fifteen years under his belt, some Disney Park fans feel he is the one to bring The Walt Disney Company back from its struggles under Chapek.

Iger vowed to listen to fans. In some ways, he delivered. Weeks after Iger’s return, Walt Disney World Resort changed its unpopular Park Hopping rules – Guests can now switch Parks at 11 a.m. instead of 2 p.m. Park Pass Reservations are only required for certain Guests on certain days and will all but disappear this summer. And the popular Disney Dining Plan will make a comeback in 2024.

Less has changed at Disneyland Resort – though fans can also Park Hop at 11 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. But some fans don’t mind and blame other executives like Chairman of Parks & Resorts Josh D’Amaro.

Josh D'Amaro claps next to Mickey Mouse
Credit: Disney

Reddit user u/chumbawumbacholula described themselves as “happy” about Iger’s return with a “healthy understanding that he probably wouldn’t really change much.”

“It’s not like Chapek just sat down and said ‘Alright, here’s my list of stuff you’re gonna do!’” they said. “A lot of stuff people are upset over are things that have been in development since Iger’s original time and are the product of many decision makers. After all, there’s only so much one man can be responsible for.

“Better than Chapek but still has his own problems and is doing a standard job as he fights the fights Disney is in right now(Florida, Streaming, Writers Strike),” u/Phantom23001 wrote of Iger. “Now, if they could just get back Magical Express, then whoopty doo we’ll be in a pretty decent spot in 2024 when Dining Plan, no reservations for multi-day tickets and maybe even altered Genie plus (probably paid Fastpass Plus) come along.”

The Bad & the Ugly

Bob Iger in front of the Disney logo
Credit: Disney

Despite positive changes, most Disney Park and film fans are disappointed with Iger’s recent decisions. For many, the changes, or lack thereof, aren’t enough.

“I actually really do think Iger is not doing a great job,” u/Ecstatic-Advice-4451 said. “Disney is in a lot of financial trouble that appears to be getting worse and worse.”

“He was the one who got the company in massive debt to begin with when he massively overpaid for [20th Century FOX],” u/Mojo141 echoed. “And changed strategy from making their own movies/franchises to buying IP. So I’m not surprised at all.”

Bob Iger with Cast Members
Credit: Robert Iger via Twitter

Some went so far as to ask the Disney CEO to resign immediately.

“I’m waiting for him to step down as CEO. He makes $45 million a year while some of his employees are forced to go hungry,” said u/JediRapt0r. “He had some great acquisitions, but he hasn’t done anything incredible since then. Shanghai was his baby, and it’s been a consistent underperformer like Hong Kong. The biggest change I want is for him to put in place a successor and not undermine the successor, hopefully by stepping away from the company all together [sic.] or as a consultant. But I think his giant ego won’t allow that. “

What do you think of Disney CEO Bob Iger? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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