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Bob Iger to make a comeback as Disney CEO; replaces Bob Chapek

His reappointment is effective immediately.

The Walt Disney Company has reappointed Robert A. Iger (Bob Iger) as CEO for two years, after Bob Chapek stepped down from his position.

The Board has mandated Iger to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term, the company said in a statement.

“Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide–all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership,” said Susan Arnold, chairman of the board.

Part of the reason behind Iger's return is because of the criticism surrounding Chapek's management style. Chapek had expressed intent to cut costs at the company - since the company has incurred multiple losses thanks to its streaming platform, Disney+. Chapek's plans also involved a hiring freeze, cost cuts and layoffs across the company.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” she said. “The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Iger is uniquely situated to lead the company through this pivotal period.”

Iger, who spent more than four decades at the Company, including 15 years (2005-2020) as its CEO, helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth. He expanded on Disney’s legacy of storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox and increased the Company’s market capitalization fivefold during his time as CEO. Iger continued to direct Disney’s creative endeavors until his departure as executive chairman last December, and the Company’s robust pipeline of content is a testament to his leadership and vision.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Iger said. “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 honoured 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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