Disney picked now-former CEO Chapek from the Parks division. Will it look that direction again during this new, two-year search?
The Walt Disney Company on Sunday announced that Bob Iger is returning to lead Disney as CEO, effective immediately. Iger succeeds Bob Chapek, who, the company said, has stepped down from his position.
Having spent more than four decades at the company, including 15 years as CEO, Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative endeavors until his departure as executive chairman last December.
Iger has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years. During this period, he would be working closely with the board in developing a successor to lead the company at the completion of his term, Disney said in a statement.
The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely suited to lead the company through this pivotal period, said Susan Arnold, who continues to serve as the chairman of the board.
Commenting on his return as the CEO, Iger said, he would be leading the team with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.
Arnold also commented on Chapek’s service to Disney over his long career, specially helping the company to navigate through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.
Even as Disney Parks had reported a record quarter for the period ending October 1, the parent company reported weaker than-expected-quarterly earnings and had been planning a hiring freeze, job cuts and other expense cuts.
A CNBC report this month had quoted an internal memo from Chapek laying down plans to institute a targeted hiring freeze as well as some job cuts.
During his 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, Iger expanded on Disney’s legacy with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox.
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Photo credit: Bob Iger, Disney CEO, at Disney California Adventure Park, World of Color Premiere. Josh Hallett / Flickr