ORLANDO, Fla. – The Walt Disney Company announced on Sunday that Bob Iger is returning as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
The shocking announcement started to filter through social media on Sunday evening before the official announcement was posted by the company.
Iger has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years, according to the statement.
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Disney’s press release stated that former CEO Bob Chapek has stepped down from his position. Chapek led the The Walt Disney Company from 2020 to 2022.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. “The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period.”
“Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide—all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership,” Arnold said.
Iger was CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 2005 to 2020 before stating that he was stepping down in a surprise announcement. In February 2020, he assumed the role of Executive Chairman and directed the company’s creative endeavors until his retirement in December 2021.
Earlier this month, Disney posted lower than expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter.
The company said it earned $162 million, or 9 cents per share, in the July-September quarter, nearly flat compared to $160 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier.
Iger steered Disney through its absorption of Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel and Fox’s entertainment businesses and the launch of Disney Plus.
“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Mr. Iger said. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe—most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”
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