Bob Iger Returns to an Eager Hollywood

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The Walt Disney Board of Directors announced late Sunday night the former Chairman of the Board and CEO Bob Iger would be returning to helm the massive empire navigating the ship through the often-volatile entertainment industry market.

"Disney last night fired his handpicked successor, Bob Chapek, as C.E.O. The 71-year-old Iger has signed a two-year contract as his replacement. Jobs one and two for Iger: restore the company's fortunes and groom a successor, meaning the "Game of Thrones"-like contest to find a replacement begins immediately," reported The New York Times, Deal Book writer Andrew Ross Sorkin.


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Although the immediate buzz has heralded Iger as the caped crusader, a marvel-esque superhero, one wonders if this wasn't the plan all along. Chapak, who was promoted in March 2020, minutes before the entire world experienced a disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic was confronted with unprecedented challenges.

As the dust of the pandemic has settled and left in its wake an unpredictable box office volatility, an ever-changing Entertainment industry and more regional expectation of how people enjoy and receive their entertainment choices, the waters are choppy and reflective in the bottom line.

Theatrical experiences vary greatly depending on the metropolitan area; streaming has become more affordable and a more acceptable form of entertainment; a large screen television purchase is an affordable alternative to the wallet busting prices a family of four experiences through in-person attendance.

As we approach what many understand as the coronavirus endemic, business, not simply the entertainment industry is forced to rethink, reimagine, and repurpose their portfolio, Disney as well.


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The two-year teaser contract Iger was given will more than likely be extended as he returns the empire to its former pre-pandemic shine. Not simply the theatrical but also the many segments of the Disney portfolio that suffered dramatic losses due to the pandemic

Stock prices notwithstanding the dip to $90.00 per share is not the free-falling, out-of-control, collapse that many media are labeling it. The stock market also traversed unprecedented pandemic volatility, and technically the 22% fall in Disney Stock value, if measured against the pre-pandemic market would be grounds for making a change. The drop in stock value coupled with the other turbulent bumps in Chapek's short tenure, which included a vocal argument with Florida's popular governor Ron DeSantis, appears to have prevented him from getting past the initial learning curves.


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It appears that Bob Chapek was doomed from the start, though no fault of his own. Or was it the promotion demotion plan?

Parting words from the Susan Arnold, Disney Chairman of the Board, "We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period."


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And from Mr. Iger, "I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO. Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling."

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