Disney Company Insiders Continue to Tell Press How Little Faith They Have in CEO Bob Chapek

Fortune suggests that Bob Chapek’s tough leadership style is worrying insiders. Despite a steady increase in profits and investment in streaming services (which kept up profits during the pandemic), Bob Chapek is highly scrutinized for seemingly forgetting what the Disney brand stands for: not just profits, but quality as well.

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Art courtesy of Fortune

Many guests have felt that Disney has become cheaper, relying more on making a quick buck than holding on to the brand’s integrity. With the introduction of Genie+ and the near 15% increase on food and beverages, Chapek’s reputation has fallen to the level of “bean counter”, a title he resents.

Dislike toward the CEO resulted in a Change.org petition to have Bob Chapek fired.

As public opinion of the Walt Disney Company decreases, Disney’s profits increase, but longtime stockholders fear for the future of Disney. Chapek’s choice of quantity over quality will have long-term effects on the company’s image. Moreover, the direction Chapek is taking the company in seems to contradict the creative side of Disney.

Chapek is known to remove any threats to his position as CEO, such as Peter Rice and Geoff Morrell, turning the company into a cut-throat corporate world. This openly causes problems between the creative side and the fiscal side of the business.

Jim Shull, a former Imagineer, described the difference he experienced between former CEO Bob Iger and the current CEO.

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“I would go to Bob Iger and say, ‘Hey Bob, I have a good idea based on a movie. It’s family-friendly; we can get it there in four years.’ He’d look at me and say, ‘We need it sooner. Can you do this, this, and this to get it there sooner?’ He would be part of the process.” But in the case of Bob Chapek, Shull said, “I would use the term ‘transactional’ for Bob Chapek. [He] thinks more along the lines of, how does that fit the box and how much does it cost?”

Cutting corners to make profits soar quickly is not exactly the Walt Disney motto of “Quality will out.”

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Between Chapek’s cheap ways, a famous spat with Scarlett Johansson, and his recent bumbles with current events, the CEO’s gritty, money-focused style seems to contradict the core values of the Disney Company.

Let us know what you think about Bob Chapek’s leadership style in the comments below.

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  1. Just back from Orlando and a stay at Wilderness Lodge. The difference since 2019 and 2022 is the noticeable price hikes on everything. There is no good word for Chapek from guests and staff alike. Walt Disney is probably very dizzy from turning in his grave! The sooner Chapek is gone the better. Let’s get back to what Disney is all about and what it’s good at!

  2. It seems like decisions increasing the price of food and genie plus are decisions that any CEO would make during the Covid hit. The scarjo stuff and his mishandling of the lgbtq stuff is bad, but his “event fumbles” that this site loves posting about don’t matter. So what’s the big problem with chapek?

    1. Everything is wrong with him Chapek he caved in to the Woke movement and Walt Disney’s Disney Co. is no longer what Walt had built. Chapek has to go now along with all the board of Directors who approved of him & what he is doing. Everyone who are actively part of the Woke movement and supporting them has to go now. The stock holders need to be told & to understand that the way things are going that if changes are not done now and things put back on Walt’s dream they will lose most or all of their investment!!

      1. With Disney’s longtime message of acceptance and believing in yourself and your dream, Disney has always been “woke”. Stop using “woke” as a pejorative and say what you really mean. You don’t like the Disney company being explicit about their diversity because it threatens you in some way. Disney as a company has always been a leader and publicly embracing this image to let LGBTQ+ individuals know they are accepted is what a leading company does when bad faith actors try to divide people by leaning into biases and prejudices.

    2. They absolutely matter! Disney was know for quality at a price point that has a good value. Now it is getting the reputation and taking advantage of customers. Not exactly a long term business plan….

    3. Prices up, quality down. That’s the problem with Bob Chapel. Raising prices is one thing, cutting out experiences and quality and raising prices? Not good for any business and Disney is not just any business.

    4. He’s killed everything that was magical about the Magic Kingdom. Now it’s just another theme park and there’s cheaper theme parks closer to home.

    5. Chapek does not realize Disney is an entertainment business that sells dreams and fantasy. They succeed only when they have elicited positive emotions from their customers and guests. The profit will then follow, but Chapek is only a glorified merchandiser. No vision, no imagination, no dreams, no united goal. Walt Disney created it. Eisner understood this. Igor knew enough not to screw with this. Chapek threw it out the window.

      Wrong man in the wrong job.

  3. I think it doesn’t really make sense to see a poor empire of great world fame suffer like this! The Disney brothers are still alive! and they deserve even more! even the Walt Disney Company! I hope as soon as possible that Chapek’s arancino will go away immediately and that Iger will come back! or someone else as good as him! because we cannot see an abyss of our life and childhood suffer in this way and it was! all our beloved Disney characters too, we are so sorry look! even from the mismanagement in the parks that the characters to hug do not have a mask! I hope that all things get right, improve and that everything returns as before to the Walt Disney Company even in all its theme parks ❤️🏰 save Disney !!! and call Iger🙏🙏❤️❤️

  4. I think it doesn’t really make sense to see a poor empire of great world fame suffer like this! The Disney brothers are still alive! and they deserve even more! even the Walt Disney Company! I hope as soon as possible that Chapek’s arancino will go away immediately and that Iger will come back! or someone else as good as him! because we cannot see an abyss of our life and childhood suffer in this way and it was! all our beloved Disney characters too, we are so sorry look! even from the mismanagement in the parks that the characters to hug do not have a mask! I hope that all things get right, improve and that everything returns as before to the Walt Disney Company even in all its theme parks❤️🏰 save Disney!!! and call Iger please!!🙏🙏❤️❤️

  5. It’s simple economics. Disney makes more money and Chapek’s pay goes up. He doesn’t care that we waited on hold for 2 hours to book a reservation or ride a ride. He doesn’t care that mousekeeping doesn’t clean the room or that there are no fireworks or trams at Hollywood Studios. But that bonus, he does care about.

  6. I just finished reading James B. Stewart’s Disney Wars, and, wow, does history ever rhyme.

    Some of the choices over which Chapek is taking heat are probably on Iger. But, restructuring the executive levels to centralize power and remove anyone who disagrees with him has a definite late-stage Eisner motif. (Although Chapek is at least being formal and transparent about what he is doing. Eisner relied on palace intrigue and straight up lying to maintain his grip.)

    The rumors that Abigail Disney is going to follow in her father’s footsteps really just a cap to the whole thing.

    As for the WDW parks, they are woefully understaffed right now. Very few snack and merch carts out. I can remember seeing one person with a broom and dustpan cleaning the streets. There are very few meet and greet characters and the Town Hall Theatre and Princess Royal Halls have moved to automatic cameras instead of human photographers (something that’s going to make people think twice about springing for a PhotoPass package.)

    People don’t realize that these parks employees are skilled workers. It takes training to stay in character as Cinderella when a kid pukes in front of you. It takes experience to take good photographs. Running the rides efficiently and effectively is a skill that’s taught by Disney, but having to constantly hire and train new operators is expensive.

    Organizational climate will affect employee retention to an even greater degree than salary. A CEO who is running a company where other executives are being purged and sidelined is running a company where dissatisfaction will cause problems on the shop floor. Crap rolls downhill.

  7. The changes have been too drastic! DVC members who have literally spent millions every year no longer feel appreciated. It does not take much but the “suits” under Bob Iger made us feel like it was worth it to come “home”. The atmosphere needs a new shot in the arm quickly. Hurry before the magic followers leave the Kingdom!

  8. Iger was the one who focused on profits above anything else. He encouraged cutting corners in the parks, and it shows. Chapek is just pushing Iger’s ideology a whole lot harder, and with even less grace and more focus on greed. Thanks to both him and Iger, a trip to a U.S. Disney park is now a horrifically expensive, stressful experience for your average park guest. That, plus the company’s woke pandering, has greatly tarnished what was once known as a wholesome family entertainment company. This cannot continue. Things have to change, and fast.

    1. Quit using the term woke and be honest. You’re threatened that queer families are part of family friendly entertainment. We’re not going back in the closet, so you’d best learn to deal.

  9. Bob Chapek needs to go plain and simple! He’s ruining the Disney we all know and love. There’s nothing magical about it anymore.

  10. Eventually all the negative things will catch up to Disney and profits and guest satisfaction will drop and Chapek will be forced out and someone will have to bring Disney back to family friendly company.

  11. He needs to go asap! He is a greedy Cheapskate who wants to bleed dry every single guest! Bring back fastpass and the free complimentary stuff and leave splash mountain alone! He has completely ruined the parks and betrayed Robin Williams’ name by introducing genie plus! Walt must be turning in his grave!

    1. Splash Mountain has needed updating for decades. It’s honestly terrible. Turning it into a Princess and the Frog ride makes sense.

  12. I cannot think of anything positive that Chapek has done in the past three years. He has taken away so much and instituted so many new rules and guidelines that a trip to Disneyworld is an absolute nightmare. Stock prices are at an all time low. Morale among cast members is at an all time low. Very sad indeed. I am a retired “bean counter” and proud of it. He needs to get a grip with the “guest experience” instead of trying to blow smoke up our skirts. I abhor having to make a park reservation, waiting until 2:00 to park hop and I have no use for Genie+. Wonder why there are so many fights in the parks? Stress put on the “guests” by Chapek. JMHO

  13. Quality is down and prices waaaay up. Disney getting involved in the political arena instead of just wanting to entertain all and take everyones money is an issue too. I would agree that he needs to go, but with the decisions lately, who would they replace him with and would they be any better…..who knows, but it might be worth trying

  14. He’s the worse thing that has happened to Disney. Just cares about money not the experience or what Disney stood for.

  15. Just got back from a trip to WDW, and it will be our last for a while. We have been AP’s for a long time but we let our passes expire due to the crazy price hike, the reduction in benefits, and the inability to plan a trip. I hear AP’s don’t spend enough on each park visit like newbies so they don’t want my business anymore.

    We have used Genie + once, and the lift to our experience was negligible. However the wait times on rides are becoming ridiculous due to genie +, even for those using the service. It’s amazing how something that used to be free and work flawlessly now costs money and doesn’t function. On this last trip we refused to use it and contribute to the problem.

    It seems like the quality and value of the experience no longer match the prices. We can easily afford Disney passes and have typically not complained of price due to the value we received, but that has quickly slipped away. Is it all Chapek? I don’t know, but leadership is definitely making poor operational and strategic decisions for short-term profit and I think it will come back to haunt them. I know they won’t miss my family’s 5-6 trips a year, but I think there are more families like us that won’t go back until things get fixed.

  16. Disney would be better with a CEO that has a heart like Walt. I don’t think Walt would support the direction his company has been going.

  17. We have been going to Disney for over 30 years straight and enjoyed every trip especially the beautiful Christmas trip but the last trip which we did not join our kids because they took out the fast passes and the magical express. They were very disappointed that we don’t have Disney as part of our plans for Christmas this year.Also,I am a stockholder and when they sent the proposal I did not vote for Chapek. I think he is single-handedly destroying the brand.Too bad and quite a shame.

  18. This story is once again more editorial than factual. I also do not care for the changes he has made to the company and customer experience but this is a compilation of the same stories that have come out or the past two years. The only further information regarding the situation is that the Disney Board and major shareholders have thrown their support behind him fervently. The greatest chance to spread the Disney Magic is still in the hands of it’s cast members.

  19. Sadly Chapek continues to damage Disney ethos and quality and seemingly has very little understanding of the heritage, creativity and cast commitment that has served the Company so well for nearly a century and brought magic to the parks for so long. Putting profits and a clumsy ‘what can we get away with’ attitude before all else will potentially create terminal decline for the brand and the Company.

    Does Chapek not realise that due to the willingness of Disney management to ignore the talents of key staff and Imagineers and let them go their own way over the last 20 years or so has created a pool of external talent which is now bringing forward high quality product in competitors parks and entertainment across the globe with which Disney must now compete at the highest level.

    Hopefully the board will react to the company’s stock price which is currently at a near 5 year low and realise that Chapek is not the person to lead the Company and find a professional who can hopefully repair the damage he has caused and lead the Company to new heights.

  20. The difference between the the current and previous CEOs is evident. We usually go about several times per year with extended family. Ages range from 8-72 plus my service dog. It’s getting so the kids don’t even get excited about going anymore. They still love Disney but are just as excited to get Disney items. Lady and the Tramp movie remake was a disaster. I won’t watch it or even allow it in my house and for the kids, the story seems to have lost its magic. The attempt to make it politically correct ruined it. Set in a time period where raced didn’t mix, it gives a false view of history to children while the story seems to not connect with the viewer. As a matter of fact, a bi-racial couple would have been arrested in the US during that time, and they were. People need to remember that so we never go back to those times.

  21. I love Disney and am a Magic Key holder here in California. I try to go as often as I can but the cost is getting to a point where I am looking for ways to save money on my visits. I have also stop seeing some of the newer movies due to them containing content I don’t feel need to be in Disney films/shows. It seems that Disney has become to political and needs to go back to being a home for people to de stress and just be part of the magic Walt dreamed of. I will continue to go to the parks but not as often as I had in the past because of the cost.

  22. CHAPEK NEEDS TO GO!!!! He is ruining Disney’s reputation. I very rarely eat at the parks anymore because the quality of the food is lacking with a hefty price tag. Cast members make the magic in the parks and you can tell moral is down just by the vibe. I wish Iger would come back but that won’t happen. Disney deserves someone better than Cheap Chapek!

  23. As someone that has gone to Disney for nearly 30 years, I am disappointed in the direction he has taken it. Fast pass is a better option than paid Genie plus, and virtual queues over pay per attraction pricing are better. This desire to squeeze a buck out goes against the way I have always viewed my family’s experience at the parks. Really need a collaborative CEO and not a bean counter.

  24. I have been going to Disney since it opened. Never have I seen price hikes like they are today. Chapel is interested in bottom line, not guest satisfaction. Does not appreciate the passhokders

  25. Been a Disney family for 45 years, last fall’s annual trip will be this family of 14 last trip to Disney. This guy has turned Disney upside down and has ruined a great place. With his layoffs, lack of staff, lack of routine maintenance on the rides and general grounds.the friendly employees that used to work there are gone. Rides breaking down all the time.
    The increase prices on everything and the reduced sizes, the costs to go to Disney world for what his turn it into is crime. Let’s not forget the amazing Genie program, just what families want to do on their vacation time is plan your day in the parks with their phones in hand trying to make the next ride or show. What a joke!
    Now Disney’s WOKE movement and new directions in family movies .No this is not the Disney that Walt and the majority of the people ever wanted.
    Why doesn’t the board of directors see what this clown has done.
    My family was soon feed up we cancel our remaining days at Disney and went to universal parks and enjoyed it so much that we are headed back there.
    Until Disney finds they way back to being a family environment and stops all this political stuff we every going back.
    Lose the Bob for the love of Walt’s dreams.

  26. Cultural diversity has been accepted by most parents.. But losing sight of procreation and the family unit will alienate the base of Disney’s following.. Disney’s LGBTQ+ community needs to back off and allow the company to follow changing times…

    There seems to be very little recognition of the turnaround that’s happening in society.. People change.. Ideologies change…

  27. Price increases after covid aren’t unique to Disney. We were in wilderness lodge in November and again in April. Our experience was not as good as prior years- mainly the employees- again this could be new people working because of covid but Disney always made us feel taken care of in the past but many of the employees at wilderness lodge were just rude the last two visits. I’m hoping its just a training thing but definitely the magic seems to be diminishing. Also would love the meal plans back. We are going December for our 7th trip – fingers crossed.

  28. I fail to see the balance that an effective CEO must display. I don’t see any heart for cast members, creation to benefit the brand long term, innovation to go above and beyond. Only meaningless transactional offerings to benefit the bottom line. He stinks gang! Give me back my Disney!

  29. 1. Genie+ has absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic and is just another method of squeezing a little more money out of visitors.

    2. As a long time investor in Disney the current stock value being approximately half of what is was a year ago.

    There’s a couple of problems I personally have

  30. Going back nearly 50 years of going to WDW, there was always a balance between the customer experience and profits, with imagineering taking center stage and there was always a new reason to keep coming back. Maybe we were spoiled with the likes of Michael Eisner, Frank Wells and Bob Iger. The lived the Disney Magic through the eyes and ears of the customers. Cast members reflected that. You could feel the presence of Walt himself in everything that was built, refurbished, reimagined. Bob Chapek is not warm and fuzzy. He oozes bottom line. Now there’s a cold stiffness in everything. Recent changes might make for a great bottom line, but eventually if the magic goes away because the buying public feels like it’s only about the money, without the balance, Disney loses. Previously, corporate management had a way of making people feel so good about being there the pain of the price was lost. Now, since Bob Chapek came on the scene, that magical warm fuzzy feeling has all but disappeared. And as a DVC owner, I live and breath Disney. I don’t have a problem paying when I feel the value and the Magic outweigh the bottom line. But even I have occasionally began to question how magical is it? 5 years ago I’d have argued to the death on behalf of enjoying the Magic. However, it’s getting harderto find it in me to continue that fight.
    I know my opinion won’t mean much to the Board when it comes to renewing Bob Chapek’s contract. But as a lifetime Disney believer, I urge them to consider someone that radiates the Disney way. The way Walt would think. The way the cast members would rally around and the way the customers will want to live the Magic regularly

  31. Chapek is destroying Walts dream! The last few times I’ve been to Disney World it has been more like Universal in attitude. The magic is barely there. Please go back to Walts dream of a place where the whole family can enjoy at a reasonable cost. Right now it is catering to those who have thousands to spend.

  32. The food prices I get unfortunately given the state of the economy. As for Genie Plus, I think Fast Pass was a lot better and had a free and paid option, which gives guests an opportunity to decide if they can incorporate the better/paid version in their budget. I think his biggest failure though is how maintenance has taken a huge slide downhill.

    As for handling the corporate issues poorly like the Florida bill, he needs to take a lesson from Iger there.

    And of course the board can’t issue a statement that says something like “we don’t have confidence in him.” The fact they had to say it out loud for everyone to hear means they don’t have confidence in him.

  33. My family and I were Disney World stalwarts for 20 years, and we won’t go back until he is either gone or gets a personality transplant. He has made the experience so disappointing. Dreams don’t come true anymore. – Reality and greed are just thrown in our faces instead.

  34. Disney’s treatment of Scarlett Johansson was horrible after she spent so many years working for Marvel. They had no right to question her morals for wanting what she was owed during the pandemic when they have been increasing costs and cutting staff. Chapek managed to tick off both sides on the Don’t Say Gay bill and that takes a special kind of ineptitude. Now Disney employees have to deal with this groomer nonsense.
    Plus, there’s Reedy Creek. If he was going to tick off the right that bad he should have at least made the left happy. Pick a side or don’t. Prices keep going up at the resorts, but you get less than you used to. We had to put off our trip for a year and now they won’t even have pirate rooms at the Caribbean. I’m upset that you have to book Genie+ the night before your trip, because I don’t want to stay up until midnight to book Genie+ then get up before 7 to book my rides. I happen to like getting 8 hours of sleep before a long day walking.

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