Somehow, Iger returned Rebelscum! In a move that few, if any saw coming, Bob Chapek has been relieved of duties as Disney CEO effective immediately. Bob Iger has been requested by the Disney board of directors to resume his former position with the Company.
Multiple sources are reporting the news, but we're looking specifically at Variety for the story:
“We thank Bob 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 Disney’s board of directors. “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.”
Chapek’s ouster comes on the heels of a third-quarter earnings report that spooked Wall Street as spending on content and marketing for Disney’s direct-to-consumer platforms hit its projected peak of $1.5 billion in fiscal 2022. Even though the Disney had previously guided Wall Street to losses of that scale, and even as Disney+ posted subscriber growth for the quarter, the river of red-ink still took a toll on Disney’s stock price. Shares fell well below the $100 mark, to $90, on Nov. 9, the day after Disney’s after-market earnings report.
Chapek faced unprecedented times as Disney leader, guiding the company through the abrupt shutdown of its theme parks around the world, as well as dealing with other disruptions closures that affected every aspect of the company’s business. But he also stumbled into a high-profile fight with Scarlett Johansson and CAA over Disney’s decision to send her feature film “Black Widow” to Disney+ given that movie theaters were still largely shuttered. The fact that Disney engaged in a brief war-of-words and litigation with Johansson shocked the creative community.
Despite these missteps, Disney’s board of directors renewed his contract for three years in June.
“Bob (Chapek) is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team,” Arnold said in June.
This is a big move at Disney and will most likely result in multiple project shakeups across the theme parks and entertainment projects. I would imagine that this will have some impact on the Star Wars universe, although to what degree remains to be seen. Iger saw the acquisition of Lucasfilm just over 10 years ago for over 4 billion dollars, and I imagine that he'll have some questions about the current state of Lucasfilm, such as:
• Why there hasn't been a theatrically released Star Wars movie since 2019?
• Why so many announced projects that end up being scrapped?
Or, he may have bigger priorities, such as the park experience. Who's to say what will happen next? Do you think this will have a significant impact on the Star Wars universe? Let us know your thoughts below!
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