Bob Iger returns to lead Disney as Bob Chapek steps down

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The Walt Disney Co. said today that Bob Iger will return to lead the company as Bob Chapek steps down as CEO. Iger, who officially left the company last year, will take command immediately. The company said he will serve as CEO for two years.

“We thank Bob Chapek for his services to Disney throughout his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. The Board of Directors has concluded that as Disney enters an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this critical period,” said CEO Susan Arnold in a letter.

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“Mr. Iger enjoys 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 is greatly admired by Disney employees around the world – all of which will be a seamless enabling transition of leadership.”

The company said there is no change in the board and Arnold will continue to serve as chairman.

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Iger served as CEO of Disney for 15 years from 2005 to 2020 before deciding to step down and hand over the reins to Chapek. Notably, Chapek signed a three-year extension contract with the company in June.

Upon his return, Iger said he was optimistic about Disney’s future and excited to return to the company.

“Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the world – 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 once again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission of creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling,” he said in a statement.

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This is an evolving story….

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