Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Disney announces that its former director Bob Iger will return for 2 years

BURBANK, Calif. ( Associated Press) – The Walt Disney Company announced Sunday that former CEO Bob Iger would return to lead the company for two years, a move that took the entertainment industry by surprise.

The company noted that Bob Chapek, who replaced Iger in 2020, has stepped down. Board Chair Susan Arnold thanked Chapek for his services, including his time during the “unprecedented challenges of the pandemic” of COVID-19.

“The executives believe Iger is uniquely placed” to lead the massive entertainment conglomerate “through a complex period of industry transformation,” Arnold said in a statement. Iger, 71, led Disney during its acquisition of the Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel and Fox entertainment businesses and the launch of the streaming service Disney+.

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Iger said he was “excited” to return and said he was “extremely optimistic” about Disney’s future.

“I am deeply honored to be asked again to lead this outstanding team that has a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations with unique, bold storytelling,” he said in a statement.

Hollywood’s creative community criticized Chapek’s cost-cutting measures and his sometimes harsh attitude with creative staff, while being unhappy with regular price increases at his amusement parks. A few weeks ago, Disney reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that fell short of expectations.

Chapek came under fire this year for failing to harness Disney’s enormous influence in Florida to avoid a Republican law that would bar teachers from teaching first grade about LGBTQ issues. The legislation sparked a dispute between Disney and the governor, Republican Ron DeSantis.

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Also controversial was the handling of the lawsuit filed last year by Scarlett Johansson over her payment for “Black Widow,” a rare public dispute between the studio and a major Hollywood star. The 2021 Marvel film was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ for a $30 rental.

When the board fired its fifth CEO, Michael Eisner, in 2005, Iger moved to the helm of the company. The former TV weatherman won over Wall Street and Hollywood with a bold acquisition and a public display of respect for the creative community and the firm’s history. ,

He led the company for 15 years before stepping down in 2020.

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