Disney is in some deep trouble heading into 2023. They have recently ousted Bob Chapek, but they brought back previous CEO Bob Iger, who had a hand in putting the Walt Disney Company in the position they are in. In Iger’s years as CEO he didn’t train up a good successor while some potential candidates got passed over or left. Which takes us to this news article from CNBC.
In the article the publication spoke to 12 media executives and asked them about their predictions for 2023. Previously, they did this type of article and it was predicted that Bob Iger would return (keep that in mind.)
We have several predictions about Disney to cover but we will start with the big one.
According to CNBC “Executive 2” is predicting that an ex-Disney executive will return to the Walt Disney Company with a new company.
Basically this executive feels that Disney will acquire another company and with it, bring back a former CEO front-runner, or two former front-runners, in this case–namely Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer. Mayer was the person many thought would be named as his successor, but instead it went to Bob Chapek. Staggs left a couple of years prior.
Since Staggs and Mayer left the company, after it was clear neither would become the next CEO, they started up their own company called Candle Media.
Why is Candle Media important?
Candle Media owns Moonbug Entertainment, which is the home to a lot of the hot pre-school IPs that your kids are likely watching including: Blippi’s shows, Little Baby Bum, and CoComelon. They also own several other entities like Hello Sunshine as well.
While it would be a smart way to get valuable IP while also getting two, legitimate successors, there are some possible issues here.
First of all Bob Iger told employees in his town hall meeting that he had no plans to acquire more companies. Of course plans change and buying up other IP and companies has been Iger’s go to. Given how he overspent on the Fox acquisition, it could be more of a Board mandate than his own decision.
Secondly, Candle Media is already doing very well on it’s own and already has Blackstone as it’s financial backer. There would need to be some big renegotiations to untie the existing contracts. Not that it can’t be done. It can, but that complicates it a bit.
Thirdly it assumes that the pair want to return and Iger wants them to return. If Iger went this route it would be admission of a mistake, although Bob Chapek was a big mistake and the Walt Disney Company is admitting to that.
What are the other predictions?
An executive (Executive 3) believes that Iger will simply get his own contract extended past December 31, 2024 and stay in as CEO. He would have to do amazingly well for this to happen. Even then, I think the Disney Board knows that they need someone else to take over as Iger is getting up there age-wise. Which is the same issue with the rumor that Christine McCarthy could take over as CEO, she is also older.
While another executive (Executive 4) is predicting that Christine McCarthy will leave the Walt Disney Company. Given that she was instrumental in the removal of Bob Chapek, she could be seen as a potential threat. Her contract is up in mid-2024, ahead of Iger’s as well.
Both of those predictions sound farther off, more like 2024 predictions.
The final prediction related to Disney is that they could merge with Netflix.
This one is strange, but with the streaming wars, and massive amounts of competition, only the biggest will survive. Two executives interviewed think Netflix will merge with another streamer. One executive felt it would be Paramount, while the other believes it to be Disney.
Personally, I doubt it would be Disney as it’s already too big. CNBC also brings up an excellent point about the sheer sizes causing anti-trust issues that would likely prohibit a merger. I would agree with that.
However, I thought the rumor about Bob Iger returning sounded far fetched and unlikely, so anything can happen.
If you would like to read the other predictions made by executives you can find the CNBC article HERE.
What do you think? Which rumors do you believe?
Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.