Disney loves a sequel
Bob Iger is back. Less than 3 years after stepping down as CEO, Bob Iger is now returning to the house of mouse, after handpicking another Bob, last name Chapek, to take over the top job in 2020.
Over five decades in the industry, with 15 years as Disney CEO, Iger crafted himself into one of the most-respected execs in entertainment. Disney flourished under Iger as he presided over transformative acquisitions of studios such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm as well as a mega-deal in 2019 that saw Disney win a bidding war against Comcast for ~$71bn worth of assets from 21st Century Fox.
Even Netflix’s co-CEO, Reed Hastings, reacted to the news this morning saying “Ugh. I had been hoping Iger would run for President. He is amazing.” — a ringing endorsement from Disney’s fiercest streaming rival.But it's the streaming business that is the root of the company's problems. Disney’s enormous parks business has recovered well from the pandemic, and is now essentially subsidizing the mounting losses at Disney’s streaming services. Add in a high-profile spat with Ron DeSantis, and Bob Chapek was quickly losing favor with Disney investors, and the board.
Although they're known for their love of a sequel (e.g. Marvel), Disney's board likely wasn't hoping for Iger to have to make a return — but investors seem pleased, with the company's share price jumping nearly 10% this morning.