Bob Iger is out as CEO of Disney. Effective Immediately.
“Iger will remain executive chairman of Disney through the end of 2021, according to the company. He has been instrumental in making Disney a media powerhouse with key acquisitions and content plays. He launched Disney+, immediately making Disney a popular streaming service provider. Disney said the service had 26.5 million paying subscribers during the first quarter of 2020 after launching in November.”
Bob Chapek the head of Disney Parks, and infrequent target of the Dark Herald will be the new CEO of Disney.
They are putting a nice face on this but Executive Chairman was a job last held by Micheal Eisner after his execution by the board.
Iger’s departure was announced at the close of the market and Disney stock still fell 2.5% on the news of the king having fallen.
Iger has been dancing around his retirement for years but kept putting it off because there were various projects that needed to be finished or there wasn’t anyone quite ready to fill his shoes or the guy who was ready to fill his shoes just got fired by Iger, so now he has to stay on a bit longer. You get the idea. It was as constant stream of delays.
Its the “effective immediately” part that is the big tell here. You don’t want to scare the market with the headline of a big change overnight. You make an announcement of an expected departure date a few months down the road.
So why has Iger gotten the shove? Marvel is doing as well as ever. The Disney Parks were doing fine, until recently. Disney Animation and Pixar are raking it in.
What could be the problem?
O-o-o-h, yes. That.
Star Wars isn’t a complete failure.
I mean it’s not Ghostbusters 2015.
But that said, it is a failure. The movies have been under-performing since The Last Jedi. Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland was an outright flop. Nobody cares about these new characters enough to want to play with them in the Parks. Topping it off, the real cash cow, the toys aren’t selling at all.
Worst of all, and I think this is what finished Iger off, is the complete lack of course correction. Kathleen Kennedy is still the head of Lucasfilm when she should have been fired two years ago. Whether he was unwilling to part with the most important whamon in Hollywood or he just couldn’t bring himself to throw the dice on a replacement. The end was the same. What had been the biggest franchise out there, was severely damaged after Iger paid billions for it.
I’m not expecting miracles but lets see what Chapek, the gruff mid-Westerner will do with Walt Disney’s damages legacy.