Bob Iger Disapproved of the Changes Bob Chapek Made at Disney
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, they discuss the rift between Bob Iger and Bob Chapek. Bob Iger talks about how he disapproved of the many changes and the ways Bob Chapek handled various issues as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.
Bob Iger even went as far as saying that Bob was “Killing the Soul of the Company.”
Related – Kareem Daniel Leaves Disney Following Bob Chapek’s Departure
The rift began around the time that COVID shut down the parks. Iger was not happy with Chapek’s plan to lay off tens of thousands of workers at Disney’s theme parks as Covid-19 hit, say people familiar with both men.
Iger wanted Chapek to delay any staff cuts till the Cares Act, a massive spending bill being debated in Congress meant to protect companies from the pandemic’s economic impact, was signed into law. That way, laid-off Disney employees could take advantage of its protections.
Chapek wanted to move quickly with layoffs, as many CEOs felt enormous pressure to cut costs and preserve revenue. Around that time Iger announced he was taking a more active role because of the pandemic which upset Chapek.
Iger overruled Chapek, as he was able to convince the board that it was better to wait. Then-President Trump signed the bill into law in late March, and Disney began to furlough tens of thousands of workers in April. Chapek was infuriated and complained that he was being undermined from the minute he was promoted.
During the shutdown, Bob Chapek set ambitious goals for Disney’s Streaming Service Disney+ and gave it higher priority over other parts of the Walt Disney Company.
Related – Disney CEO Bob Chapek Plans Layoffs and Job Freeze according to Memo
Many of the issues between the two happened when Bob Chapek started raising prices at the Disney Theme Parks and created the reservation system which we still use today and many Disney Fans dislike. Chapek argued that it would boost revenue and limit overcrowding.
Bob Iger also felt that Chapek was too responsive to changes in Disney’s share price, and Iger was alarmed by increases in prices at Disney theme parks that Chapek argued would boost revenue and limit overcrowding, these people said. Iger received calls from creative executives frustrated with Chapek, people familiar with the matter said.
“He’s killing the soul of the company,” Mr. Iger told more than one confidant.
The tension between the two came to a head in March of 2022 when Chapek received heavy backlash over Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, also known by opponents as “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Chapek didn’t speak out against the bill meanwhile Iger criticized the bill from the start.
“I’m with the President on this!” Iger wrote on his Twitter. “If passed, this bill will put vulnerable, young LGBTQ people in jeopardy.”
Overall I don’t think Bob Iger never really left the Walt Disney Company. It was noted that he would always talk about Disney and even sported a license plate frame that said, “Is there life after Disney?”
Once the news was announced that Bob Chapek was out and Bob Iger would be stepping up as the Walt Disney Company CEO fans and celebrities showed their support for Iger.
We are hopeful that Iger can bring back the Magic to the Walt Disney Company. He released a statement when he returned as CEO which we absolutely LOVE!
“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 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.”
As we wait and see what changes will be happening at the Walt Disney Company we are optimistic that Bob Iger will get the ship going once again in the right direction.
Welcome back, Bob!
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