Disney announced this Sunday that it had appointed Bob Iger as the company’s new chief executive officer, a position he left to Bob Chapek in 2020 after 15 years in office.
Iger, 71, agreed to return to lead the North American company for two years, with the aim of establishing a strategy of “renewed growth”, underlined Disney, in a statement.
The new CEO will also be tasked with working with the board of directors to find a successor.
The company, founded in 1923, did not specify the reasons for Bob Chapek’s departure.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney (…), including guiding the company through the unprecedented challenges of the” Covid-19 pandemic, said chairman Susan Arnold in the statement.
Bob Chapek took office in early 2020, precisely when the pandemic began. He had to manage the closure of theme parks and cinemas, but also the expansion of the streaming platform.
The results of this activity were recently released, with Disney+ still gaining subscribers in the third quarter, but the ‘streaming’ platforms of the Californian group (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) showed a loss in operations of almost 1.5 billion dollars (1.46 billion euros).
Disney’s stock price dropped more than 13% the day after these results were announced in early November.
At the head of the company from 2005 to 2020, Bob Iger transformed the entertainment empire, between the acquisitions of the animation studio Pixar, in 2006, Marvel, in 2009, or most of the assets of the former group 21st Century Fox, in 2019, ending the term with the launch of Disney+.