Bob Iger Disagrees with Bob Chapek’s Decisions, Loses Trust at Disney

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Credit: Inside the Magic

Bob Chapek is still being talked about.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Current Disney CEO Bob Iger in front of a blue background saying The Walt Disney Company
Credit: Disney

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If you’re a fan of the Disney parks or The Walt Disney Company as a whole, then you surely know the name Bob Chapek. After a long career at Disney, Bob Chapek was officially made CEO in 2020, following the sudden departure of Bob Iger, a Disney veteran himself. Bob Chapek will undoubtedly go down as the most divisive and controversial figure in the Disney company’s entire history.

A lot of this is not his fault, at least not directly. Chapek took over Disney at one of the worst times in history, months before a global pandemic would break out. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw The Walt Disney Company take massive hits, with movies being delayed or cut, as well as all of Disney’s parks and resorts shut down. Bob Chapek certainly made a lot of changes to Disney, especially how its theme park division operated, but it’s impossible to put all the blame on him when he was faced with issues completely out of his control.

Couple this with an apparent mutiny and ousting in 2022, and it’s clear that Chapek was dealt a bad hand from the beginning. In 2022, The Walt Disney Company announced that Chapek was essentially terminated and that former CEO Bob Iger would be stepping back in.

Bob Iger in the middle, flanked by Star Wars cast on left and Marvel Studios' Avengers on right
Credit: Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Inside the Magic

Bob Iger agreed to return, though his tenure would be very short. Iger’s current contract only extends to 2026, meaning The Walt Disney Company needs to find a successor fast. It’s been theorized for months as to who would take the mantle, though these are all rumors. Disney recently appointed a new CFO, with Hugh F. Johnston being named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company. Johnston had been serving as CFO of PepsiCo. for a whopping 34 years, indicating Disney made some very big premises for Johnston.

However, as Disney takes steps forward, it also moves backward. With the theme park business booming, it would be easy to think Disney is successful in every venture. However, this is not the case, with 2023 being a brutal year for Disney at the box office. Several films from The Walt Disney Company failed to resonate with general audiences long enough to rake in some serious cash, especially releases like Haunted Mansion (2023) and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023). Disney’s stock price has been incredibly disappointing as well, hitting several all-time lows in the last year alone.

Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, has also been bleeding cash for quite some time.

Bob Iger sitting alongside ESPN and Disney+ logos
Credit: Masterclass/Inside the Magic

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As a result, Candle Media CEO and former top Disney executive Kevin Mayer says he has been advising Iger after stepping back into the world of Disney. As reported by The Hollywood ReporterIger has been getting advice from Mayer, who also shared some thoughts regarding Disney’s previous CEO.

“I can’t tell you what advice I’m giving to Bob, and I suppose to the board, but, look, he needed some part of his team back,” states Mayer, who gets on to reveal his thoughts on current-day Disney.

“He came back to a company that had vastly changed. The previous leadership under Bob Chapek made some decisions that probably Bob Iger would not have taken.” Iger was quick to cancel or redirect several decisions by Bob Chapek, though the biggest changes, like the Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane systems, still remain. “It left them in a position where he really wanted to have some people that he trusted

Mayer goes on to say that Bob Iger is one of the “best CEOs in American history,” and it’s easy to see why.

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

Under Iger’s leadership, The Walt Disney Company was able to expand in ways we didn’t think were possible. With Iger at the steering wheel, Disney purchased Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment, two of the most popular and most lucrative companies in the entire world.

Under Iger, Disney’s theme parks expanded significantly as well, thanks to additions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar.

What are your thoughts on Bob Iger? Do you think he’s one of the best CEOs ever?

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