Bob Iger returns as Disney’s CEO

Bob Iger is back.

DisneyIn a surprise announcement late Sunday, it said it had rehired Iger as chief executive, effective immediately, after Iger’s successor as CEO, Bob Chabeck. came under fire For his management of the entertainment company.

“It is with incredible gratitude and humility — and, I must admit, a little surprise — that I am writing to inform you this evening that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as CEO,” Iger wrote. to employees in an email obtained by CNBC.

The dramatic move comes 11 months after Iger left Disney and just days after Chabeck said The company plans to cut costs, burdened by bloated costs on its streaming service Disney+. At the beginning of this month, the company’s earnings were huge Underperformed Wall Street’s expectations. Even its theme park business, which reported an increase in revenue, delivered less than analysts had predicted.

Iger’s revenue comes as traditional media companies compete with a rapidly changing landscape as advertising dollars dry up and consumers ditch their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming.

Iger will help develop a new successor to the company’s board, Disney said in a release.

Sabeck was named chief executive in February 2020, succeeding Iger, who had previously said he would not return to the role.

Shares of Disney have fallen about 41% this year through Friday’s close. The stock hit a 52-week low on November 9.

Iger signed on Sunday to serve as CEO, Disney, “with a mandate from the board to set strategic direction for renewed growth and work closely with the board to develop a successor to lead the company through the end of his tenure.”

Sabek has resigned, the company said. When Chabeck took over in 2020, Covid-19 became a pandemic and forced Disney to shut down its theme parks and prevent the release of movies in theaters. Nevertheless, the company’s stock soared in 2021, before crashing to earth in recent months.

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“We thank Bob Chabeck for his long service to Disney, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Disney’s board chairman. He will continue in that role.

Chapek, signed as CEO It was extended earlier this year, plans a company-wide hiring freeze, cost cuts and layoffs, according to a memo obtained by CNBC earlier this month. The internal memo came three days after the company’s worst quarterly earnings report.

Iger, who had been Disney’s CEO for 15 years, wanted Sabek as his successor. The Eventually a fight broke out between the two, and their conflict cast a shadow over the company’s future. Sabek He turned away from Iker Along with a series of results, including his new approach to streaming prices for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.

Iger is a widely respected and well-liked figure at Disney. He oversaw its deals to buy Pixar, Lucasfilm and its “Star Wars” properties and Marvel — all of which have become multibillion-dollar intellectual properties.

Meanwhile, Sabek angered employees with his initial silence on the “don’t say gay” law in Florida, where the company’s Walt Disney World resort is located. Later, he received backlash from Republican politicians such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for opposing it. He also got heat for himself Dealing with the controversy over Scarlett Johansson’s pay For her work in the Marvel movie “Black Widow”.

Read Iger’s email to Disney employees here:

Dear Colleagues and Actors,

It is with incredible gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of surprise—that I am writing to you this evening with the news that I will be returning to the Walt Disney Company as CEO.

Looking at the creative success of our teams across our studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the exciting redesign and regeneration of our parks, the continued great work of ABC News and more. Other accomplishments across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I look forward to many new endeavors with you.

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I know this company has asked a lot of you over the last three years, and these times are certainly very challenging, but as I’ve said before, I’m an optimist, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years at Disney, it’s that in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our staff and cast members do the impossible. reach

You will be hearing more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the coming weeks. In the meantime, allow me to express my deepest gratitude for all you do. Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people around the world, and thanks to you, your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every day.

Bob Iger

Read Disney’s full announcement Here:

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS ) announced today that Robert A. Iger announced that he will return as Disney’s CEO, effective immediately. Having served the company for over four decades as its CEO for 15 years, Mr. Iger agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years with a mandate from the board to set strategic direction for renewed growth and work closely with the board. With the Board in developing a successor to lead the company when his term ends. After Bob Chabeck stepped down from his post, Mr. Iger took office.

“We thank Bob Chabeck for his long career of service to Disney, including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of the board. “As Disney embarks on an increasingly complex industry transformation, the Board has decided that Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company during this important period.”

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“Mr. Iger is deeply respected by Disney’s senior leadership team, worked closely with them until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide — all of which will allow for a seamless leadership transition,” he said.

There is no change in the position of Chairman of the Board, with Ms. Arnold serving in that capacity.

“I am very optimistic about the future of this great company and am delighted to have been asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” said Mr. Iger said. “Disney and its inimitable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of many people around the world—especially in the hearts of our employees, whose commitment to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am extremely proud. With a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling, He was asked to lead this remarkable group again.

“During his 15 years as CEO from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies. He focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth, including the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Disney’s unparalleled storytelling legacy and five-fold increase in the company’s market capitalization during his tenure as CEO. Mr. Iger continued Disney’s creative efforts until he stepped down as executive chairman last December. The company’s strong content is a testament to his leadership and vision.”

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