Bob Iger returns to Disney, in a shocking leadership changeup

By Andrew Knott

Two years after stepping down from the CEO position, and less than a year after retiring from the board of directors, Bob Iger has returned as the CEO of Disney. Iger replaces now former CEO Bob Chapek, in what many hope can be Disney’s redemption after dipping in public approval since Chapek took the role in 2020. The change comes as a shock to many as Chapek recently renewed his contract this year which would have him lead Disney into 2025. Iger retaking control is expected to last only two years as the company looks two find a new suitable successor, but Iger coming back shouldn’t be overlooked because of how impactful he has been for the Walt Disney Company.

During his 15-year leadership as CEO, Iger managed to amass huge profit numbers for the company consistently and brought in a total of $724.14 billion in that time, with strategic investments and gambles such as purchasing Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and the inception of Disney+ among the standout reasons for the Walt Disney Companies growing revenue. Meanwhile, Chapek brought in a respectable $216.44 billion in profit for Disney having to do so in a post-pandemic market, although still under shareholder expectations. Despite seeing a rise in gross since Chapek’s start, many on the inside questioned his methods, as his changes to the Parks saw a raising in prices, cuts in areas that didn’t need it, and the productions saw the creatives having less control of their projects, e.g., President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige.

Here are the major business and financial accomplishments of Bob Iger while at Disney

But after all the profit why was Bob Iger ultimately brought back to steer Disney back in the right direction? The problem comes down to how Chapek handled Disney +, in the years it needed the most care. This year alone saw Disney reporting $1.5 billion in losses for the streaming service alone because their subscriber growth starting to slow down. Many see this loss partly due to the ongoing treatment of animated films for the company, which have been given less care than when in Iger’s rule and saw many of them given the straight to Disney + treatment without consumers having to pay extra for them like in 2020-2021 when some could have been realized in theatres and brought in some revenue theatrically.

Iger brought Disney’s worth from $50 billion to $250 billion. Yet, he is going to have his work cut out for him over the next two years as he looks to steer the company in a direction the shareholders, and consumers can be satisfied with.

Whatever happens during this second transition period with Iger is set to define Disney for the next couple of years and will be a lasting legacy for Bob Iger. What may perhaps end up being the most difficult task will be finding another successor.