Disney CEO Bob Iger Gives in to Pressure, Announces He Will Quit

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Disney CEO Bob Iger with Mickey Mouse waving goodbye

Credit: Inside the Magic

Legendary Walt Disney chief Bob Iger has promised to quit his position as CEO amidst increasing criticism of his leadership of the struggling media company.

Bob Iger and Walt Disney in front of Sleeping Beauty art
Credit: Inside the Magic

Bob Iger has served as chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company on two different occasions, which makes him a unique figure in the history of the iconic corporation. During his first stint as Disney CEO, Bob Iger oversaw huge growth at the House of Mouse, transforming an already powerful company into one of the world’s richest and largest corporations.

After being named CEO in 2005, Bob Iger made a number of enormously ambitious (and risky) moves, including purchasing Lucasfilm and, with it, the Star Wars and Indiana Jones IP, the critically adored Pixar Animation Studios, 21st Century Fox and all its assets, and the box-office behemoth of Marvel Entertainment.

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

Related: Bob Iger Says Disney Parks Can Only Survive by Spending Money

Just as importantly, Disney CEO Bob Iger vastly expanded the Disney Parks arm of the business. He spearheaded the development of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort, establishing a tourist bulwark in Asia. He re-acquired the rights to the original Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and, ultimately, boosted the company’s valuation by over $200 billion.

Then Bob Iger stepped down as Disney CEO in favor of Bob Chapek, remaining as something of an informal advisor (officially titled executive chairman) to the company.

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

Chapek’s brief stint leading the Walt Disney Company will be remembered for the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic and its catastrophic effect on Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as the beginning of the still-ongoing feud between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Bob Chapek was ousted by the Disney board of directors in 2022, with Bob Iger being hurriedly brought back to right the ship after less than a year of retirement. That is a lot of pressure, even on a seasoned CEO, and it has now led to his announcement that he will quit.

Unfortunately, Mr. Iger’s second stint as Disney CEO has not been as successful as his first. Box office grosses are down for everything from Marvel Studios to Lucasfilm to Disney Animation Studios. Walt Disney World Resort Guests are revolting against the skyrocketing costs of annual passes, concessions, and hotels. The company continues to be swamped by multiple lawsuits against a presidential candidate. To put it mildly, things are not going all that well.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger looking at Disney Brand Image with Castle and Logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: CEO Bob Iger “Stunned” People Blame Him for Disney Chaos

We have reported that Disney CEO Bob Iger has been described as “overwhelmed” and “exhausted” by the stresses of the job and that he returned to the position expecting a far different company than the troubled, money-bleeding state it is in. We have also reported that more and more industry figures are losing faith in Iger as a savior figure for the company.

That pressure seems to have finally taken its toll on Iger, and he has given into public criticism. In an interview at the New York Times Dealbook Conference, Bob Iger announced that he was “definitely going to step down” as Disney CEO at the end of his current contract, which will be in 2026 (per Reuters).

Given that Iger already had his contract as Disney CEO renewed once since returning, it is quite telling that he is not willing to re-up for another few years of massive criticism and pressure to restore the company to its golden years.

We’ll just have to see if whoever is chosen as his successor can do any better.

Is it time for Bob Iger to quit Disney? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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