After backlash, Disney welcomes the return of Bob Iger as CEO to save the company

Jenna Saltzman, Contributing Writer

Ever since Bob Chapek took over Bob Iger’s former role as Disney’s CEO in 2020, the company had taken a downward direction and lost billions of dollars in profit. However, the recent event  that really threw the company off the edge leading to Bob Chapek being fired from his role as CEO was the lack of a response to an attack on the LGBTQ+ community. 

After the Govenor of Florida passed the Don’t Say Gay bill, Bob Chapek was encouraged to voice where Disney stands on the issue, but instead chose to stay silent resulting in anger from many people towards the company including their own employees. 

According to LA Times, a statement released by Disney employees expressed their opposition to the CEO’s actions when stating, “In regards to Disney’s financial involvement with legislators behind the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, we hoped that our company would show up for us. But it didn’t.”

While Bob Chapek defended his actions stating, “We thought we could be more effective working behind-the-scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers” instead of taking a public stance, many people disagree with his actions which according to an anonymous Disney employee was “a great way to ensure nothing is achieved”. 

Since the incident which occurred in early March of 2022, Disney continued to suffer and even ended up firing Bob Chapek. Since then, the company has made many public attempts to bring Bob Iger back as CEO. 

At first, it seemed as though Bob Iger would not be returning to Disney as their CEO when he, as stated by New York Times, “repeatedly insisted that he had no intention of returning to Disney”. 

However, as of late November, the announcement of Bob Iger’s surprise return as CEO was released along with stories about what had really been happening between the former and current CEO which caused Iger to return. 

According to a New York Times article, since Disney had first taken its downward turn, Iger had been conspiring against Chapek telling several people who spoke to him that “Mr. Chapek’s seeming lack of empathy and emotional intelligence, [results] in an inability to communicate with or relate to Hollywood’s creative community.” He even went as far as to tell one of his colleagues that “Disney was losing its soul” as a result of the new CEO. 

While these statements did make it back to Bob Chapek, instead of turning to Bob Iger for advice, he instead iced him out completely which only further contributed to his failure as CEO. 

Only after Chapek completely detached himself and Disney from Iger did he destroy his career by not responding to the Don’t Say Gay bill which ended up being the incident that threw Disney over the edge and eventually led to firing him. 

Even though it has been less than a month since Bob Iger assumed his position as CEO, Disney gained $12 billion in value overnight, and within a few days, the company’s shares jumped 10 percent leading to a very promising future for Bob Iger as Disney’s new CEO.