In late 2021 former Disney CEO, Bob Iger, finally left the company after 25 years at the company. He joined the company when in 1996 ABC was acquired by Disney. He had served ABC’s Television President from 1994 – 1995 and became COO from 1995 – 1996. In 2000 he was named COO of the Walt Disney Company and in 2005 became CEO when Michael Eisner stepped down. In 2020, in what appeared to be a sudden decision, Bob Iger stepped down and was replaced by Bob Chapek and he stayed on as “creative head” until December 31st of last year.
Recently, after finally leaving the company and stating that he wanted a “Blank Slate,” he sat down for an interview with the New York Times discussing his history as CEO. During the interview the interviewer, Kara Swisher, spoke about a popular rumor that many people have been wondering about:
“There are rumors that you could become Disney CEO again.“
“Well that’s ridiculous.“
“I was CEO for a long time. You can’t go home again. I’m gone.“
For some time many have speculated that Bob Iger tried to set Bob Chapek up as a fall guy for all of Bob’s overspending and poor financial decisions. With Bob Chapek getting all the blame he would then swoop in and “save” the company in order to stay on longer. Though this rumored plot has now been silenced.
Under Iger Disney has acquired companies from Pixar, to Marvel, to Maker Studios, to Lucasfilm to 20th Century Fox, but at a cost of $87.26 Billion. With the last purchase happening just before the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. Many say that the high price put the company in a tight spot when the pandemic hit. One long standing rumor is that the board brought Chapek in to tighten the finances, after Iger was seemingly blamed for the company’s financial issues and thus replaced. Not all the details are known but that is currently one of the theories.
Do you think Iger was a good CEO? Should he have stayed on longer?
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