Even the most well-informed Hollywood insiders were shocked when Disney CEO Bob Iger suddenly stepped down in late February. He remained as chairman of the company, but named Bob Chapek as the new chief executive officer. Chapek was running the parks division.
When Iger resigned, Shanghai Disneyland already closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other Disney parks, cruises and hotels were scheduled to follow suit. For Chapek, this was not an easy start to the job.
Earlier this week, Ben Smith wrote in a New York Times column that Iger has “effectively returned to running the company.” While all of Hollywood has been battered by the pandemic, Disney has been hit especially hard because it had to close all its resorts. Bringing Iger back into the fold would be a calming and reassuring presence for the company, and perhaps an attempt to quell the rumors that Iger bailed when he saw coronavirus coming.
Disney has not officially responded to the claim that Iger is back, though the company did report that Bob Chapek is now joining the Disney Board of Directors — a move that some analysts thought wouldn’t happen until a few more months down the road.