Walt Disney Company Fires CEO Without Warning, History Made

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

bob chapek bob iger

Credit: Inside the Magic

It’s a big day for The Walt Disney Company.

The Walt Disney Company building
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

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As any mega-corporation should, Disney has evolved and shifted its focus over the last 100 years it has been in operation. From massive theme parks in Florida, California, and overseas to stunning blockbusters, Disney has really hit it out of the park, providing countless hours of entertainment for millions of guests. However, the last two years specifically have proven to be incredibly controversial and incredibly transformational for The Walt Disney Company.

We won’t even mention the effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on Disney as a company, with fans and guests alike still feeling the effects. Starting in early 2022, Disney found itself in the middle of intense political discourse, with then-CEO Bob Chapek making a stand against Florida’s incredibly controversial Parental Rights in Education Act. Chapek called out the bill, which then started a feud between Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis that has only continued to snowball.

Bob Chapek himself proved to be one of, if not the most divisive and controversial leaders in the history of The Walt Disney Company and, as a result, did not last very long as CEO.

Former CEO Bob
Credit: Disney

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For almost four decades, only two CEOs served The Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner from 1984 to 2005 and Bob Iger from 2005 to 2020. Bob Chaek was announced as Bob Iger’s replacement following Iger’s somewhat abrupt departure from the company. One may find it hard to put the blame entirely on Chapek himself, with the man taking over one of the largest companies in the world months before an unprecedented global pandemic would shift the way the world works forever. However, there are plenty of reasons why Disney fans, specifically Disney parks fans, do not like Chapek.

For starters, Chapek ushered in the age of Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane. This system replaced the original FastPass systems used at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as other Disney resorts around the world. Instead of simply printing out a paper ticket or making a free reservation through the My Disney Experience app, guests would now have to pay real money in order to book a reservation for a ride if they wished to skip the standby line. Couple this change with the insane amount of price increases present in nearly every location at the Disney parks, and you have an experience that is more costly and less magical than before.

Fans quickly turned on Chapek, longing for the days of Iger or even Michale Eisner.

Iger left an impressive legacy behind at Disney, first becoming CEO in 2005 and handing the mantle over to Chapek in 2020. The exchange of power between Iger and Chapek was swift and came as a bit of a surprise, especially since Bob Iger ended his position with the company a lot earlier than expected.

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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Today marks a very important day in The Walt Disney Company’s history.

One year ago, on November 20, 2023, The Walt Disney Company publicly revealed that it would be replacing Bob Chapek with Bob Iger. Disney did not reveal the full details, but it was apparent that Chapek had been terminated by Disney. This news came just two years after Chapek began serving as CEO, indicating The Walt Disney Company was not happy with the way Chapek was leading the company. Bob Chapek extended his contract as CEO three years earlier in 2022, making this move quite a surprise.

Iger stepped back into the role of CEO in late 2022 and has quickly changed a lot of the systems Chapek put in place during his short reign.

Bob Iger only agreed to serve as CEO until 2026, meaning The Walt Disney Company must pick a successor quickly in order to be ready for Iger’s approaching, presumably final departure from the company.

Bob Iger with Disney logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Only time will tell who becomes the next CEO of The Walt Disney Company, but we can only hope they are a worthy successor.

What did you think about Bob Chapek? Do you prefer Bob Iger or Bob Chapek?

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