What’s old is new again at Disney (DIS) — Bob Iger is officially back as CEO.
In a shocking turn of events, the media giant announced late Sunday that Iger will return to lead the company as its CEO, effective immediately.
Iger replaces Bob Chapek, who stepped down after less than three years on the job.
Iger spent more than four decades at Disney, including 15 years as its CEO.
According to the company, Iger will serve as CEO for two years, with a mandate from the Board to “set the strategic direction for renewed growth and work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company after his term ends. “
“The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the Company through this pivotal period,” Susan Arnold, chairman of the Disney board, said in a press release.
The news comes just months after Disney’s board of directors voted unanimously in June to extend Čapek’s contract for another three years, until 2025. At the time, the board noted that Čapek’s leadership was essential in helping the company overcome the headwinds of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, his tenure has been riddled with controversies – from political battles and Problems with A-list talent to controversial reorganizations and the ever-looming shadow of Iger, who spoke out against some of Capek’s decisions.
Since Chapek took over as Disney CEO in late February 2020, Disney shares have fallen about 19%; The S&P 500 is up about 34% over the same period.
“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and am thrilled to be asked by the board to return as its CEO,” Iger said in the release.
“Disney and its unparalleled 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 honored to be asked to once again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling,” he concluded.