This past off-season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady retired for roughly 13 seconds before changing his mind and announcing he’d be back for another season. That reversal wasn’t totally shocking to football fans, though. Brady is hyper competitive and was still among the best players in the league. The real surprise came when he initially walked away. But that is not the case with the latest high profile figure to decide retirement is not for them. Only instead of the field of play, this person will be returning to the boardroom. Former Disney CEO Bob Iger is returning to his old role after three years and replacing his replacement, Bob Chapek. And this shocking move surprised everyone.
But while Iger has much to do, he won’t be around for very long this time.
In a Sunday night stunner that still has all of Hollywood buzzing, the biggest studio in the world pulled off a shocking switcheroo. Disney’s board of directors replaced its new Bob with its old one. The return of the former CEO (which we first heard about at The Hollywood Reporter) comes after Wall Street’s less-than-positive reaction to the company’s disappointing third-quarter earnings report. But few could have predicted Iger’s return since Chapek just signed a new three-year contract this summer.
Bob Chapek hasn’t exactly had an easy go of things since most of his reign occurred during the pandemic. But many fans and analysts have noted his issues may have gone beyond just COVID. (Regular park visitors definitely have some thoughts on the current state of the parks!) Clearly, Disney’s board agreed. But Chapek’s leaving and Iger’s return is a temporary solution meant to settle a rocky ship and set it back on course. Disney has said he will fill the role of CEO for just two years. They’ll be a busy 24 months, though.
According to The Wrap, In his first memo to employees, Iger wrote, “When I look at the creative success of our teams across our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments, and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors.”
If Disney has the same kind of success under Bob Iger 2.0 as it did during his original run, they should be in for a very good two years for both the company and its fans.