Bob Chapek has surprisingly resigned from his post as Disney CEO. He is being replaced by long-time Group CEO Robert “Bob” Iger, who is even coming out of retirement to do so. However, Iger intends to take the helm again for a maximum of two years.

There is a surprising change at the top of entertainment group Disney: the previous CEO Bob Chapek has resigned from his post. In his place, long-time CEO Robert “Bob” Iger is coming out of retirement to take the helm again – but for a limited time.

For Iger had declared himself willing to pull the strings for a maximum of two more years. Disney announced this on Sunday, November 20, 2022, in a statement. Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said:

We thank Bob Chapek for his many years of service to Disney, including leading the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

Change of chief at Disney: Bob Iger returns

Bob Iger, meanwhile, has been tasked by the board with “setting the strategic direction for renewed growth.” To this end, he is to work closely with the board. This also includes finding a suitable successor. For Iger, who is returning from retirement, will take over for a maximum of two years. The statement said:

Mr. Iger has the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, with whom he worked closely until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and is greatly admired by Disney employees around the world – all of which will enable a seamless transition of leadership.

Disappointing quarterly numbers and industry change

According to CEO Susan Arnold, Disney is currently going through “an increasingly complex phase of industrial change.” The board apparently does not trust Bob Chapek to manage this phase. His predecessor and successor Bob Iger, on the other hand, was optimistic.

Above all, he said, he wants to focus on bold storytelling to inspire generations. He previously spent more than four decades with the company, including 15 years as CEO. Chapek, meanwhile, steered Disney through the pandemic, but must answer for its recent disappointing quarterly results.

The company did post strong growth in its Disney Plus streaming service. However, the company suffers from relatively high costs, which is why the quarterly profit was lower than expected. Bob Chapek then announced a cost-cutting program including a hiring freeze and layoffs.