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Bob Iger and Bob Chapek

Bob Chapek is Bob Iger’s Biggest Regret

According to a report from Business Insider, the transition to Bob Chapek as CEO of The Walt Disney Company did not go as former CEO Bob Iger had planned.

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Bob Iger and Bob Chapek

Iger had intended to spend his last year as CEO of Disney on a global goodbye tour, but this was canceled due to COVID-19. Iger had already selected Bob Chapek as his successor, and he intended to mentor him during his final years with the company.

Unfortunately, Iger and Chapek had different ideas about how to deal with the pandemic, how the company should be structured, and Disney’s politics. Iger remains unhappy with how the transition was handled, said an insider familiar with his thinking.

Iger has spoken out against some of Chapek’s decisions over the past few months in particular. They reportedly had a falling out and no longer speak.

According to someone at Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley mogul retreat last week, Chapek and Iger exchanged a greeting but did not talk more.

Iger was originally contracted to stay on as CEO through 2021, but stepped down from the role in early 2020.

“It was Bob Iger’s desire to move the timeline up — and if COVID hadn’t happened, none of the stuff between [him and Bob Chapek] would have transpired,” said a Disney executive. “The board was surprised; it was several months before his departure date. He got tired of all the things you have to do. He really wanted to play around with creative and not worry about all the business crap.”

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The other insider familiar with Iger’s thinking disputed this, saying Iger was still engaged with the business but felt it was a good time for the handoff considering the successful launch of Disney+.

Iger still remained pretty hands-on after February 2020 as COVID-19 hit the U.S.A. Another insider indicates that this was “a slap in the face” to Chapek. Iger remained chairman of the board through 2021.

The board was reportedly unhappy with Iger’s succession plan. A former Disney executive called it “a notable failure.” The board suggested other candidates, but Iger pushed for Chapek. They also suggested making Chapek a COO first, while Iger remained CEO for longer.

The Iger insider says Iger “greatly regretted” choosing Chapek as his successor “as soon as COVID hit.”

“If he had known and understood the scope of the pandemic, he never would have stepped down when he did,” another former Disney executive said.

Iger is currently writing a book about leadership in unprecedented times. The Disney board recently voted unanimously to renew Chapek’s contract for another three years.

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  1. Maybe they should bring Iger back to do the creative stuff since Chapek can’t and let him do the paper stuff for the business stuff

  2. I think Chapek is the biggest regret of Iger’s time for most of us. I can’t wait to see him escorted out of the role.

  3. So on one hand, chapek is a regret, but since he does whatever the board asks, they extend the contract. I wish i could be hated and incompetent and yet still keep a multi million dollar a year job. It’s like being a weatherman but with more money!

  4. This article should be called “bob chapek is *reportedly* Igers biggest regret” the other way makes it seem like he actually said it

  5. Everybody try to keep the pressure on Disney on all fronts I hope we can get Walt’s Co. back on the path he had. I think in some ways some of this started during Iger’s time so he has part of the blame. Chapek & the Woke movement and all the top leadership & the Board of Directors did most of the damage and I bet will do more unless they are stopped in their tracks. So pass on the word & BOYCOTT Disney until large changes are made that would make WALT SMILE !!!!

  6. Chapek has executed the “magic” in Disney parks in exchange for a few extra bucks. Customers are unhappy. Employees are very unhappy. Enjoy those extra dollars today Chapek, they will cost you future business.

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