Bob Iger is returning as Walt Disney CEO, Bob Chapek steps down

Los Angeles: The Walt Disney Company has announced that Robert A. Iger (Bob Iger) is returning to head the company, as Bob Chapek has stepped down as CEO amid the company’s plans to reduce workforce to navigate the rough global conditions.

Iger, who left the company last year, after spending more than four decades at the company, including 15 years as its CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years.

He will work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the company at the completion of his term, Disney said in a statement late on Sunday.

“We thank 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,” she added.

The change at the top comes as facing slow revenue growth, Disney has reportedly planned to reduce its workforce and freeze hiring.

According to an internal leaked memo from Chapek, the company is “limiting headcount additions through a targeted hiring freeze”.

The outgoing CEO also advised executives to only take necessary business travels. Virtual meetings should be conducted as often as possible.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Iger said.

During his 15 years as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, Iger helped build Disney into one of the world’s most successful and admired media and entertainment companies with a strategic vision focused on creative excellence, technological innovation and international growth.

Meanwhile, global revenues for The Walt Disney Company decreased 18 per cent to $1.1 billion and operating income dropped 18 per cent to $0.1 billion, owing to a decrease in advertising revenue due to lower average viewership, especially in India where there was no cricket in the September quarter.

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