There were two farewells this past Sunday evening, Elton John’s Farewell Tour was live-streamed from Dodgers Stadium on Disney+ and The Walt Disney Company said goodbye to CEO Bob Chapek and hello … again … to Bob Iger.
Today, as the markets opened up, Disney stock [$DIS] soared as investors and fans alike cheered Iger’s unexpected return. At the time of writing, the stock is slightly over $100.00 a share. In pre-market trading, shares were up 8.5% over Friday’s closing.
It’s unsurprising that Wall Street reacted this way considering the rocky tenure of Chapek.
Chapek, who recently signed a new multi-year contract, had a disastrous Q4 earnings report, in which many people inside Disney, as well as investors, felt his tone anywhere from “happy-go-lucky” to “tone deaf.”
Immediately after Disney’s earnings report, Mad Money’s Jim Cramer said on CNBC’s Squawk Box, that Chapek should be fired. He went on to say that Chapek was incapable of running a “fantastic company” and that Disney needs “someone new.”
During his nearly three-year tenure, Chapek angered nearly everyone from Disney Cast Members and fans to investors on a number of subjects including his initial silence on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, incurring the wrath of Republicans when he spoke out against it, to his dispute with Scarlett Johansson.
Fans have been voicing their displeasure with Chapek about being “nickeled and dimed” at Disney Parks including various price increases on park tickets and annual passes, as well as the introduction of charges for services and features of things that used to be free like Disney’s Genie+.
In a press release, Disney stated that Iger has agreed to serve as CEO for the next two years “with a mandate from the Board to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.”
“I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible,” Iger said in a memo to employees seen by Reuters.
Are you happy to see Bob Iger return as CEO? If so, let us know in the comments below.
Check out our other covering on the ousting of Bob Chapek and Iger’s return: