In 2020 former Disney CEO, Bob Iger, suddenly and unexpectedly stepped down from
his position as head of the company and later this year will finally no longer be connected with the company. When he announced his resignation many people thought that Kevin Mayer, now former head of Disney+, would be his selection.
But to many people’s surprise Bob Chapek, then Chairman of Parks and Resorts, was chosen to be the new CEO. Kevin Mayer soon afterwards stepped down as head of Disney+ seemingly as a result of being passed on the promotion and went to manage the TikTok app but also stepped down from that position as well due to at the time Federal Investigations into the app. Kevin Mayer now shares his thoughts on the events.
“I was hoping I would be [the CEO of Disney]. I’m not sure hope and expectations are the same. It’s a nice job, CEO of Disney,” Mayer said in a recent interview with CNBC.
“Look, if you’d asked me that question five years ago, I would have said, no, I didn’t. I
didn’t think I was headed towards the CEO of Disney,” said Mayer. “But given the confluence of events of Tom Staggs leaving, then there being a bit of a vacuum during the 21st Century Fox deal, which caused Bob Iger to stay a little longer… And the fact that I was able to launch Disney+ so effectively. I also launched ESPN+, and I was running Hulu,
and I led the entire reconfiguration of the company into direct to consumer. Bob Iger and
the board felt that I should run all of that.”
“That was, I thought, intended to be a bit of a test run to see if I could be CEO. I’m not
sure what I could have done there to prove myself more than I did. I think that Bob left
earlier than he expected to,” explained Mayer.
Mayer was asked about the sudden announcement of Iger stepping down, to which he said he “didn’t know it was coming at all.”
As to why he didn’t get the job? Mayer said that it might’ve been a lack of experience. According to what he’d heard, “he needed a little bit of seasoning.”
Kevin Mayer is now the Chairman of Sports Streaming Service DAZN. He most likely
will continue his ventures in the world of business, but being passed up for the CEO of Disney position will likely stick with him, especially since many people expected him to be the one Iger would have chosen.
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