Bob Iger Was ‘Disappointed’ Watching Chapek’s Tenure as Disney CEO, Will ‘Definitely’ Step Down in 2026

Shannen Ace

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Chapek and Iger - New Details WSJ

Bob Iger Was ‘Disappointed’ Watching Chapek’s Tenure as Disney CEO, Will ‘Definitely’ Step Down in 2026

Current CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit on Wednesday that he was “disappointed” in what he was seeing with the company during Bob Chapek’s tenure as CEO.

Bob Iger ‘Disappointed’ During Chapek’s Time as Disney CEO

Bob Chapek and Bob Iger

“I was disappointed in what I was seeing in the transition period and while I was out,” Iger said (via the Times). He added, “I worked hard at distancing myself from it.”

Iger first served as CEO from 2005 to 2020. He personally chose Chapek — who, at the time, was chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products — as his successor. Chapek took over the position in 2020, while Iger remained on as executive chairman. As the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected business, Iger took over some CEO duties. He retired from the company in late 2021. But less than a year later, the board of supervisors fired Chapek and brought Iger back into the role.

Iger has repeatedly mentioned that he and the board are committed to finding a suitable CEO replacement. He said at the DealBook Summit that the process “is robust right now.”

“I’ve tried hard to conduct my own postmortem, just so that we as a company don’t do it again,” Iger said. “What did we do wrong? And we discovered certain things that we could do better.”

Bob Iger Layoffs March 2023 1

When he returned in 2022, Iger’s contract was for only two years. But this summer, it was extended to 2026.

“I’m definitely going to step down [in 2026],” Iger said at the DealBook Summit. “We are aggressively pursuing succession.”

Two popular choices to follow Iger are Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, who both left the company after Iger passed them over. The Disney board reportedly reached out to Mayer and Staggs about taking over when Bob Chapek’s contract was up. They didn’t follow through, however, because such a deal would have required Disney to buy their start-up, Candle Media, and Chapek wouldn’t have agreed to those terms.

Industry executives predicted Mayer and Staggs could return to the company and, sure enough, they are reportedly advising Iger on TV strategy.

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