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Current and Former Disney CEOs Bob Chapek and Bob Iger Had a Falling Out, No Longer Speak

According to CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and former CEO Bob Iger had a falling out and no longer keep in close contact. The falling out occurred around the time Iger resigned as CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Iger resigned as CEO in 2020 just weeks before all Disney Parks shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Iger appointed Bob Chapek as his successor. “I can’t think of a better person to succeed me in this role,” said Iger, a day before Disney started closing its parks. “I’ve watched Bob [Iger] lead this company to amazing new heights, and I’ve learned an enormous amount from that experience,” Chapek said.

New York Times columnist, Ben Smith, published a story about a month later after reaching out to Bob Iger by email. Iger told Smith he wasn’t going to leave Chapek to deal with this new COVID-19 crisis alone and would stick around to assist him in running the company.

In his email, Iger said, “A crisis of this magnitude, and its impact on Disney, would necessarily result in my actively helping Bob [Chapek] and the company contend with it, particularly since I ran the company for 15 years!”

Chapek was reportedly furious when he saw this story and expressed that he did not need any assistance running the company. An individual who witnessed Chapek’s reaction said, “It was a turning-point moment.”

Ever since then, Iger and Chapek haven’t been able (or willing) to mend their relationship.

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Image Source: CNBC

Iger and Chapek have had plenty of opportunities to work together, but the two executives barely speak to each other.

“Anyone succeeding Iger, who had been Disney’s CEO since 2005, was going to have a difficult time filling his shoes. Iger was generally beloved by Hollywood and highly respected as a CEO, particularly after orchestrating a series of intellectual property acquisitions — of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm — which will likely go down in media history as three of the smartest deals ever. Iger, 71, has even flirted with running for president of the United States.

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Chapek, meanwhile, has a harder exterior and at times, according to colleagues, struggles with emotional intelligence — which happens to be Iger’s strength.”CNBC

An example of this lack of emotional intelligence is the way that Chapek handled the criticism that The Walt Disney Company faced for funding sponsors of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Chapek originally sent out an email to Disney Cast Members simply acknowledging the situation, and received immense backlash for it. A couple of days later, he sent out an additional email apologizing for the company’s lack of response, finally denouncing the bill, and vowing to donate funds to protect LGBTQ+ rights.

Iger reportedly regrets how the change of command of The Walt Disney Company transpired. But he has no interest in returning to the company. In an interview with the New York Times, Iger said, “I was CEO for a long time. You can’t go home again. I’m gone.”

It will take some time for Disney fans and Cast Members to be able to trust Chapek with the ideas and goals he has set out for the company. Every anonymous source interviewed for this story said Chapek may not be a people person, but he is “a skilled and determined operator.”

Chapek’s contract as CEO of The Walt Disney Company is currently slated to end in February of 2023.

Source: CNBC

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  1. Lets hope that he does not get any more time past Feb. of next year and that he does not do anymore damage before that time. Then put in someone who is more like Walt & Roy combined and clean up the mess & put Disney back on the right track which would make Walt very happy as he is looking down at us!!!!

  2. Maybe they can go on an talk show an sort this out. Someone who reads this comment better suggests it to both of them. I’m not joking.

  3. Chapek/Cheapskate Bob has ruined the Disney experience. My last vacation (this month) was not like previous years. Charging for everything. We went into Rise of the Resistance (posted 2 hour wait). After 5 hours, we were still not on the ride. It broke down twice while we were in line. Peter Pan’s Flight also broke down while we were on it. Currently, I have a painful foot infection from walking ankle deep in dirty water at Animal Kingdom. Not going back anytime soon.

    1. Okay look I have experienced breakdowns before and there I don’t think you can blame him for that. Also as for the water thing it was due to the rain during a downpour and O don’t think you can blame him for rain.

  4. Chapek is the Joe Biden of Disney. He has turned it into a dump in record time

  5. Bob Chapek is turning WDW into a vacation fiacso. Doing away with fast passes and forcing you to pay to get on rides after paying ever increasing admission and annual pass fees. With Genie plus and Lightning Lane you end up walking around with your phone in your hand all day to navigate your ride and event scheduling. WDW was billed as a Happy Place.. not so much now. Thanks for nothing Bob Chapek

  6. One crated market capitalization, one destroyed it.
    One expanded on an existing empire, one is just trying to milk what other people built.
    One had a vision, one cant see pass the next fiscal quarter.

    How long will it be before a somewhat significant attraction (one E ticket ride) is STARTED under the current regime? Never?

    You don’t need help running the company? Let me check the stock price…oh wait….yes you do!

    “Buy stock in a company any idiot can run, because some day any idiot will run it” – Peter Lynch, legendary mutual fund manager for Fidelity Investments.

    Guess what – Any idiot is running it.

    Why don’t you right a memoir when you are done with your tenure and see how many people buy it…or it will even get published.

  7. I’ve been going to Disney World for decades and an a DVC member. I just came back from a week in Disney World and it was the worst experience I’ve ever had in Disney World. The cast members were ill prepared and appeared totally untrained. The new Genie Plus was a disaster and the iPhone app was terrible. We could not get on any of the rides. We could not get reservations. The cast members didn’t know anything about the parks. I asked the cast member what time the crêperie opened in France and the cast member who was standing right outside had no idea. They referred me to another cast member who also had no idea. The reservations at the Beach club were a disaster. I had reservations in the DVC portion of the beach club. My room was not ready until 6 PM on the day I was to check in. The entire experience was the worst experience I’ve ever had at Disney. I hope the new CEO gets fired for his abominable tenure so far. If he is not fired hopefully he does not get a renew contract.

  8. Where is Bob Chapek smile? The only reason he is smiling in just about every picture you see is because of the millions he is getting. I feel he should not be making that kind he should be making $15 per hr. like the rest of his employees. Then you will see his smile change. Who are all the idiots who voted to keep him? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  9. Hopefully a Disney Genie will show him the lightning lane out of the kingdom forever. :)

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