Iger has had eight months to turn Disney around, but he will need at least another three years to implement his plans fully.
- On November 20, 2022, Disney shocked the business world by ousting CEO Bob Chapek and returning previous CEO Bob Iger to power for two years to address the company’s financial issues.
- On Wednesday, July 12, Disney announced that his contract would be extended two more years through December 31, 2026.
- Iger subsequently appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday morning, saying that the work he is doing with Disney is transformative and will take years to implement fully.
- He was rehired to prepare a new successor to take over the company while restructuring the company to make it more profitable and efficient.
- The 72-year-old executive joked during the CNBC interview that he may never reach retirement.
Why It’s News
Bob Iger’s history with the Disney Corporation is legendary, with him running the company for 15 years amid some of its highest periods of profitability and overseeing the company’s purchases of Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox, launching Disney+, turning Disney into the largest film studio in the world with a 27% market share of the film industry.
Unfortunately, Iger has struggled to find a replacement to manage the unwieldy corporation. Parks chief Bob Chapek was named as CEO in February 2020 but subsequently ousted in November 2022 after repeated negative financial reports. Since then, Iger has undertaken a broad restructuring of the company, including thousands of layoffs. He has also announced multiple sequels to popular films, including Toy Story 5, Inside Out 2, Zootopia 2, and Frozen 3.
“We’ve made important and sometimes difficult decisions to address some existing structural and efficiency issues, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together. But there is more to accomplish before this transformative work is complete, and I am committed to seeing this through,” wrote Iger in a memo to his employees.
Disney is still a long way from reaching stability. The studio has suffered diminishing interest in its theme parks while several of its recent films have sizably underperformed, although Iger denied the validity of the Wall Street Journal’s recent coverage of declining attendance. It is also struggling with ongoing culture war battles and a legal battle against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has specifically targeted the corporation for its perceived “wokeness” and insistence on pushing LGBTQ+ content in children’s programming.
As we previously reported, the company is facing difficult choices to meet profitability. It has considered the possibility of selling ESPN and Hulu and has removed dozens of films and tv shows from Disney+ as a tax write-off. It has also shut down some of its recent attractions like Galaxy Cruiser.