Disney Shakeup Sees CEO Bob Iger Returns, Bob Chapek Exits Role

Disney's board revealed a surprising decision on Sunday, announcing CEO Bob Chapek will step down from the position. According to Deadline, Chapek will make room for the return of Bob Iger, less than two years after his retirement.

According to the announcement from the company, Iger returns as the CEO effective immediately and agrees to serve in the position of Disney's CEO for two years with a focus on a "strategic direction for renewed growth" and to work with the board to find a new successor.

"We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic," board chairman Susan Arnold wrote. "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."

Iger's "deep respect" for the Disney senior leadership and his track record has made him a "seamless" choice to come into the role. Ms. Arnold remains the Chairman of the Board at Disney, while Chapek's position comes on the heels of his new multi-year contract in June and a dismal earnings forecast for the company. It also closes a tenure that features a slew of controversies, including Chapek's aggressive stance against Scarlett Johansson over her lawsuit.

"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 in a statement. "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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Iger previously held the CEO position for 15 years, ushering in success from 2005 through his first departure in 2020. He helped to expand the Disney brand with acquisitions like Pixar, Marvel, Disney, and the massive 21st Century Fox sale.